Using businessman Donald Trump’s “degradation of women” against him is a top strategy of super PACs working on behalf of Hillary Clinton, as they compile a dossier of sexist statements and Trump business practices that could be used against him in the general election.
Crude or sexist comments about women are part of the reason that women are supporting his Republican candidacy at lower rates than men, and provide an opening for Democrats, writer and advocate David Brock planned to tell Democratic audiences Saturday.
“Should Trump be the Republican nominee, the prospect of a record-setting gender gap is, well, huuuge,” Brock was to say Saturday in two speeches in Arizona. “In fact, a Hillary versus Trump race will likely produce the biggest gender gap in the history of modern American politics.”
A copy of the speech was provided by Correct the Record, one of pro-Clinton groups affiliated with Brock that is now focusing much of its attention on Trump as her likely opponent.
“Whether he’s mocking Carly Fiorina’s face, suggesting Megyn Kelly was on her period, or talking about Hillary getting ‘schlonged,’ Trump is the last stand of the angry white man,” Brock says.
Brock recalls Trump’s reaction to Clinton’s late return to a debate stage following a bathroom break – Trump had said it was “disgusting” – and says the mogul is setting off a chain reaction among conservative fans "in the right-wing media."
“It’s worth noting that while Trump has successfully belittled his male rivals, his attacks on these women fell flat, and I believe that when Trump targets his schoolyard bullying and sexist banter against Hillary, his tactics will backfire,” Brock says.
Moderate Republican women and independents would be a key audience for the message that Trump has a demonstrated history of sexism and hostility toward causes and policies important to women, including paid family leave and equal pay. But Brock’s remarks Saturday are aimed at rallying Democratic women behind Clinton as she works to secure the Democratic nomination.
Brock gives an accounting of some of the most eye-popping Trump comments over the years, some of it from his groups’ research and some from media accounts. He also listed unequal or sexist treatment of Clinton on the part of other Republicans or in the media.
“It’s impossible to talk about the Republican Party’s case against Hillary without talking about sexism,” Brock says in remarks prepared for delivery to Arizona List, a liberal group that works to elect Democratic women. “It’s integral to their attacks on her character – and it’s inextricable from the id of the conservative movement.”
Brock invokes his own unusual path from “card-carrying member of the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy,’” to liberal Democrat and what he calls a lesson from his earlier life. He notes two cover articles he wrote some 20 years ago for the conservative magazine “American Spectator": One called Clinton “Lady Macbeth” and the other depicted her as a witch on a broomstick.
“One of the things I learned then was how conservatives sought to exploit the misogyny in their ranks for political advantage,” he says.
He recounts comments on conservative radio and television shows from Clinton’s first White House run in 2008 and from her current candidacy. He also says mainstream media “enabled” and furthered the sexism in its own coverage, pointing fingers at both The Washington Post and New York Times.
“The bottom line is that a male candidate would never face this type of degrading coverage and twisted commentary,” Brock says.
“When women do things that women aren’t expected to do – like running for the most powerful office on the planet – people are conditioned to suspect her motives,” Brock says.
"This cultural reality – not her speaking fees or her email practices – is what Hillary is wrestling with in the issue of trust among the electorate,” he asserts. ”The Republicans know this, and they are doing everything in their power to perpetuate it.”