LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2016—Donald Trump is single-handedly reviving the so-called Republican War on Women.
In an MSNBC Townhall with Chris Matthews on Wednesday, Trump was asked a hypothetical: if abortion becomes illegal should women be punished for having abortions? Trump’s off-the-cuff logic: if it’s illegal, it should be punished.
Of course, he received tremendous backlash (go figure), and on Thursday flip-flopped to the view that the abortionists should be punished. Then on Friday, he flip-flopped again saying that the laws on abortion should not be changed.
Why anyone expected a cogent pro-life treatise from a man who was unabashedly pro-choice until 2011, and still defends Planned Parenthood as an organization that only does good things for women’s health is beyond comprehension. Needless to say the initial comments and the two- and three-stepping has not helped Trump’s favorability rating among women, pro-life or pro-choice.
The Business Insider referenced a Gallup Poll taken on Friday showing that 70 percent of women polled viewed Trump unfavorably, while only 23 percent had a positive view of the candidate.
Business Insider then compared other polls by Fox News, Quinnipiac University, NBC News/Wall Street Journal, CNN/ORC, and ABC News/Washington Post which also show Trump’s unfavorability with women hovering around 70 percent.
“Those are stunningly unfavorable numbers,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, told Politico. “It would be tremendously difficult for Donald Trump to win the general with those kinds of numbers.”
Trump’s problems with women are legend. From calling TV-host Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig, to making derogatory comments about Carly Fiorina’s face, to his recent Tweet-wars against Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Trump appears to delight in denigrating women—particularly women who don’t agree with him.
But the frightening trend of late is not simply Trump bandying words, but people with whom Trump surrounds himself taking actions against women—actions that are leaving life-altering marks.
Three women who are now caught in the maelstrom are Michelle Fields, Amanda Carpenter, and Heidi Cruz.
Heidi Cruz has mostly taken a behind-the-scenes role in her husband’s campaign, handling the high-stakes fundraising needed for a presidential race. She has remained relatively private, so that Sen. Cruz’s public profile will be what is prominent in voter’s minds.
Thanks to Trump, her name has been dragged into the race and across newspaper headlines, and as is the fashion of Trump and his followers, in the most unflattering way possible.
Before the Utah primaries in early March, a Liz Mair anti-Trump super PAC released an ad targeting Melania Trump, The Donald’s supermodel wife. The ad showed a picture featured in an issue of GQ magazine that shows Melania semi-nude, with a teaser line, “Meet Melania Trump, your next first lady. Or, you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday.”
Since then, Trump and his merry band of followers began a full-scale attack on Heidi Cruz. Trump lodged the first salvo, with a retweet of a collage photo with an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz next to a picture of Melania Trump, and further Tweets threatening to “Spill the Beans” on Heidi Cruz.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
Then came the National Enquirer piece alleging Cruz has had affairs with five women, including former staffer Amanda Carpenter. While the Enquirer has been accurate in uncovering real news (John Edwards, anyone?), this one looks calculated. The fact that National Enquirer CEO David Pecker is a long-time friend of Trump, and that the tabloid has endorsed Trump for President has caused legitimate suspicions. Cruz himself has pointed out these connections, and blames Trump for the release of this story.
Fortunately for Cruz, Trump’s own foot-in-mouth disease on abortion effectively removed the story from the news cycle, but the damage to Heidi, and unfortunately their two daughters has been done.
The National Enquirer article named Cruz’s former staffer and CNN and Conservative Review political contributor Amanda Carpenter as one of his mistresses. Since that “discovery”, Carpenter’s Twitter feed has been inundated with nasty tweets and smears against her character, and Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino has been furthering the smears by passing on a video edit of Carpenter tweets that allegedly show proof that she is a Cruz mistress.
— TimeToFight (@NvrSurrender101) March 27, 2016
Carpenter went on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper to deny the affair, and other conservative outlets have been pointing out the extreme leaps Trump supporters are taking to try and dig up evidence of said affair.
Here are a few links from Patterico, Independent Journal Review, and Legal Insurrection documenting the Trump followers efforts to destroy Carpenter’s reputation. While Carpenter is standing tough, this degree of ugliness on someone who is not actively connected to any political campaign is taking its toll.
“I’m just trying to get through this: protect my reputation, protect my career, protect my family,” Carpenter told Tapper, “I do worry that it’s going to get worse this campaign season. I just want everyone to have their eyes wide open about this. It’s bad for women, and for the entire political atmosphere.”
Finally there is the Michelle Fields/Corey Lewandowski mess. Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged this week with simple misdemeanor battery in Jupiter, Fla. for allegedly grabbing then-Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields on March 8 when she was attempting to interview Trump.
Fields filed a complaint three days after the incident, and showed police her injuries. Both Trump and Lewandowski went to war on Twitter, accusing Fields of fabricating the story.
@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you. As a matter of fact, I have never even met you.
— Corey R. Lewandowski (@CLewandowski_) March 11, 2016
Victory press conference was over.
Why is she allowed to grab me and shout questions? Can I press charges? pic.twitter.com/qbW2RjkINX
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2016
A subsequent video was released, and Washington Post reporter Ben Terris also helped to corroborate Fields’ story. But despite calls for an apology from Lewandowski (at the least), or for Trump to fire Lewandowski (at the most), Trump continues to stand by his campaign manager.
At CNN’s 360 Townhall, Anderson Cooper asked Trump about the charges.
“I’m a loyal person. I’m going to be loyal to the country, I’m going to be loyal to Wisconsin, we have to tell it like it is. It would be so easy for me to terminate this man, ruin his life, ruin his family, he has four beautiful children in New Hampshire ruin his whole everything and say, ‘You’re fired'[…]
Trump went on to say Fields changed her story, and read Fields’ police statement, claiming that she was grabbing him (unclear from the video), that she had a pen in her hand (she had a recording device), and basically debunking every line in the report as he said-she said, and making jokes about how his arm has never been the same.
“I stick up for people when people are unjustly accused. I stick up for people, and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life,” Trump told Cooper.
Thanks to the lack of sound producers and interns at Fox News and Buzzfeed who failed to redact the police report before they published it to the world, Fields had to abandon her apartment over safety concerns. Talk about ruined lives….
On the one hand, Fields has gotten some career notoriety, but do you think that this is what she was aiming for? Doubtful; she was doing her job and found herself in the crosshairs of Trump and his army.
While Trump claims he does not wish to ruin his campaign manager’s life over false charges, he certainly has no qualms about ruining Michelle Fields’ or other women’s lives with his bro-code alliances, verbal diarrhea and careless tweeting.
The last presidential candidate that had these pathological problems with women was Bill Clinton. His problems were first exposed nationally with Gennifer Flowers, when he was Arkansas governor and candidate Clinton. Thanks to Hillary standing by her man and the entrance of Ross Perot, he was elected anyway. The pathology continued: Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, all the way up to Clinton’s second presidential term with the infamous Monica Lewinsky.
Strangely, women backed Bill Clinton despite these obvious abuses, so why is it that Trump can’t seem to seal the deal with them? Not having an attack dog like Hillary to control the “bimbo eruptions” is one part; the rest is as much of a mystery as why he is the current Republican front-runner.
Trump’s abuses are prevalent and in the open, from his adultery and multiple marriages, to his nastiness towards women who are less than beautiful (according to his standards), critical of his boorishness, or who are roadblocks to his goals, whether that’s building a casino or the presidency.
Trump has claimed that he only hires “the best people,” but this is not evident in the rot produced from his campaign. While it feels like this campaign has lasted years, it has only been 9 months; can you imagine four years of this madness?
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