On Tuesday night, the Republican and Democratic frontrunners won primaries in the Northeast. Donald Trump responded by declaring himself the “presumptive nominee” and attacking Hillary Clinton as a failed candidate.
The Donald is right, of course, but his comments about Clinton went just a tad too far. He said her whole appeal boils down to her gender as a woman. For this reason, the wife of one of Trump’s most sycophantic supporters, Chris Christie, could not help but grimace.
The only card she has is the woman’s card. She’s got nothing else going on. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s vote. And the beautiful thing is that women don’t like her.
Indeed, Clinton has overused the woman card, and to a terrifying extent. Nevertheless, there are a whole host of examples of the former first lady’s “experience” that really tell against her: just being Obama’s secretary of State during the Russian “reset” and the Syrian “red line,” not to mention Benghazi, should disqualify her. If you base your entire attack against her only on gender issues alone, you play into her hands by ignoring the more substantive issues.
Indeed, outlets are already describing Trump’s attack as “sexist,” despite the fact Hillary is already running “the most sexist campaign ever.” The Donald could hit her on this without going as far as he did. Even those of us who largely agree with him — because Clinton is legitimately horrible — found the statement disconcerting.
Here’s the video of Mary Pat Christie, the wife of the New Jersey governor who endorsed The Donald:
— David Hudgins (@DavidHudgins3) April 27, 2016
As noted by the New York Times‘ Nick Confessore, Mrs. Christie was less than flattered by Trump’s attack.
When Trump said that, Mary Pat Christie, standing over his shoulder, grimaced, then glanced over at Chris Christie and rolled her eyes. — Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) April 27, 2016
Unfortunately, this also played into Clinton’s hands. In her own speech, the former secretary of State declared, “Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!” Those policies would arguably have negative effects for women, but you won’t hear that, because Clinton is the only person talking about actual policy.
If nominated, Trump will insult his way to the presidency. Against Clinton, this could work — we’ve never had a presidential election with two frontrunners hated as thoroughly as Trump and Clinton. The strategy could just as easily backfire, however, as Hillary is guaranteed to show the policy depth that Donald lacks — and it might just annoy some of Trump’s most loyal supporters.