Following this week's primaries, the 2016 presidential general election is, after more than a year of campaigning, coming into focus. It's not yet a done deal in either party, but odds are, Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the fall. What's less clear is what Trump intends to do about it.
In recent months, the Republican frontrunner has prioritized insulting labels for his rivals, hoping to define them quickly in voters' eyes. Jeb Bush was "low energy"; Ted Cruz is "Lying Ted"; Marco Rubio became "Little Marco"; and so on. Trump's message about the Democratic frontrunner is still taking shape, but he's clearly begun trying out some lines of attack.
"If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote," Trump declared Tuesday night. The "only card she has is the woman's card," the Republican frontrunner added. On NBC this morning, Trump stuck to the line.
A day after his chief rival picked a woman as a running mate, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump defended comments he made about Hillary Clinton playing "the woman card" saying the Democrat couldn't even win a local election if she were a man.
"The primary thing that she has going is that she's a woman and she's playing that card like I have never seen anybody play it before," he said Thursday on TODAY.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie noted, "But Mr. Trump, for you to say, 'If she were not a woman, she would be getting 5 percent' suggests the only thing she has going for her is that she's a woman -- not that she was a former senator, a former Secretary of State and a lawyer. Do you understand why people find that to be a kind of demeaning comment?"
Trump was unfazed. "No, I find it to be a true comment," he replied. "I think the only thing she's got going is the fact that she's a woman."
Trump added, "Nobody respects women more than I do. And I wasn't playing the woman's card; it's true she is playing the woman's card. Everything she says is about the woman's card."
If there's a smart political strategy lurking somewhere in all of this nonsense, it's hiding well.