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Trump’s ‘Nasty Woman’ Comment Becomes Rallying Cry For Female Voters

Donald Trump just couldn’t help himself. At the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night, after calling Hillary Clinton a liar, a thief and a criminal, he buckled under a crack she made about his character. Discussing her plan for changing the ceiling on taxable income for Social Security, she noted that even Trump would only have to pay an incremental increase under her plan, “assuming he can’t figure out a way to get out of it.”

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump interjected.

And with that, every smart woman who’s sought to make her way in the world summoned a memory.

Maybe it was a schoolyard memory of a boy she bested in an argument. Maybe a memory of a coworker telling her some guy at the workplace had said that about her after she made a forceful defense of an idea. Maybe some random guy on the street who felt rejected after she ignored his order to smile on command.

Note that Trump didn’t simply say, “that’s unfair,” or maybe, “that’s nasty.” It was important to label Hillary Clinton, the person, in a gendered way. His opponent is not merely “nasty,” she is “a nasty woman,” something far more horrifying.

Because, in his estimation, women are always supposed to be nice to Trump. It’s their duty, and his right to expect. Grab ‘em by the pussy, and expect them to be nice. Walk in on them in their dressing rooms, and expect them to be nice. Tell a radio shock jock it’s okay to call your daughter “a great piece of ass,” and expect her to be nice. It’s his birthright, after all, to have all women, everywhere, be nice to him, regardless of what he says or does to them. Surely, all of the women in his life are nice to hime—but they all report to him, in one way or another.

I’ve been called nasty simply for arguing politics with a man at a party. Nasty for trying to keep a know-nothing at a workplace from doing something that would have harmed the company. Nasty for challenging brogressives on their support of a neo-libertarian. But I digress….

Yet if Trump can turn even a question about the Supreme Court to an answer about how he felt treated by an individual justice (Ruth Bader Ginsburg said mean things about me!), why can’t I make this debate all about me?

I’ve been grabbed by the pussy, rated on my appearance, walked in on while dressing, had my rights abridged by the law, my former status as a menstruator mocked, and my intelligence insulted when I was deemed—physical flaws notwithstanding—too hot to be smart. And you know what? So have a lot of other women; women who vote.

The more Trump makes this election all about himself, the more women of America will choose to make it about themselves. And in that event, Trump clearly loses. Not that he’ll necessarily accept the outcome.

Adele M. Stan is AlterNet’s senior Washington editor, and a weekly columnist for The American Prospect. Follow her on Twitter @addiestan.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trumpspeaks as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Ralston

Donald Trump’s Scorched Earth Tactics Have No Upside

By James Oliphant and Chris Kahn

(Reuters) – Republican Donald Trump had one last chance at a nationally televised debate to reach out to the undecided voters he badly needs to keep his presidential campaign viable.

He passed on the opportunity. Instead, he chose on Wednesday to stay with the strategy he has employed during recent weeks: Pump up his hard-core supporters and hope that’s enough to win.

He suggested he might not accept the election result if his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton wins on Nov. 8, called her a “nasty woman,” and repeated hard-line conservative positions on issues such as abortion and immigration.

While that kind of rhetoric was catnip to his passionate, anti-establishment base, it is unlikely to have appealed to independent voters and women who have yet to choose a candidate.

“When you’re trailing in the polls, you don’t need a headline the next morning saying that you’re not going to accept the election results,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who supports Trump.

With less than three weeks left in the race, Trump is behind Clinton in most battleground states and is underperforming in almost every demographic voter group compared to the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, four years ago. Party strategists had said before the debate that he needed to use the event to draw in voters beyond his hard-core supporters.

Trump didn’t listen or perhaps didn’t care.

STRATEGY MAY BACKFIRE

His debate was a continuation of his apparent strategy to ensure his most fervent supporters show up on Election Day, while betting that his attacks on Clinton’s character and truthfulness will discourage voting by already skeptical young and liberal Democrats.

But experts who study voter behavior warned that his attacks on Clinton may backfire, saying he may instead awaken Democratic voters who have so far been uninspired by Clinton.

“The risk he faces by engaging in a scorched-earth policy is that he activates people rather than turning them off,” said Michael McDonald, who runs the U.S. Election Project at the University of Florida.

McDonald, who tracks early voting returns and absentee ballot requests, said he is seeing larger than expected surges of support for Clinton in southeastern states such as Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.

The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project, which uses a massive online opinion poll to project election outcomes in all 50 states, estimates that Clinton has a 95 percent chance of winning the election by about 118 votes in the Electoral College if it were held today.

It is against this backdrop that Trump has apparently decided to double down on energizing his base rather than broadening it. But the poll results cast doubt on the wisdom of that strategy.

If Trump’s core white, male, working class supporters vote at high rates, as expected, that likely won’t be enough to win. Trump, for example, already does well with white men who are at retirement age. Nine out of 10 of them are already expected to vote, according to the polling results, so, there is little room to squeeze out more votes.

RIGGED ELECTION

Voting rights activists have accused Trump of trying to suppress voter turnout by claiming, without evidence, that the election has been rigged against him. He has also said his supporters need to monitor polling stations to ensure a fair vote, which the activists decry as an act of intimidation.

Should Trump’s comments succeed in discouraging some Democratic voters from turning out, that may also not be enough to help him secure the White House. He still loses under what could be considered a dream scenario for the Republican nominee: white men show up in greater numbers than expected, while turnout among racial minorities is lower than expected.

In this scenario, the States of the Nation project estimates that Trump would win the battleground states of Ohio and North Carolina, and he would have a shot at winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado. Even then, Clinton would still have an 82 percent chance of winning the election.

There’s yet another risk to Trump’s strategy. By claiming the election is rigged, he could be unintentionally signaling to his supporters that voting no longer matters.

Michael Sopko, 63, a mortgage broker from Denver and a Trump backer, said before the debate that he sees his vote as pointless.

“They have already been corrupted,” he said of voting machines, speaking ahead of a Trump rally in Colorado Springs. “I think the results are already cast.”

(Reporting by James Oliphant, Chris Kahn, and Emily Stephenson, editing by Paul Thomasch and Ross Colvin)

Photo: Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (not pictured) at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Trump Might Not Accept Election Results, Calls Clinton ‘A Nasty Woman’

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Republican candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested he might reject the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election if he loses, a possibility his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called “horrifying.”

In their third and final presidential debate, Trump said he would wait to decide whether the outcome was legitimate.

“I will tell you at the time, I will keep you in suspense,” Trump said.

Clinton said she was “appalled” by Trump’s stance.

“Let’s be clear about what he is saying and what that means: He is denigrating, he is talking down our democracy and I for one am appalled that someone who is the nominee for one of our two major parties would take that position,” she said.

She said Trump, a former reality TV star, had in the past also complained that his show was unjustly denied a U.S. television Emmy award.

“I should have gotten it,” Trump retorted.

In a fiery debate that centered more on policy than the earlier showdowns, Trump accused Clinton’s campaign of orchestrating a series of accusations by women who said the businessman made unwanted sexual advances.

Trump said all of the stories were “totally false” and suggested Clinton was behind the charges. He called her campaign “sleazy” and said, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do, nobody.”

Clinton said the women came forward after Trump said in the last debate he had never made unwanted advances on women. In a 2005 video, Trump was recorded bragging about groping women against their will.

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like,” said Clinton, the first woman to win the nomination of a major U.S. political party.

She cited other minorities she said Trump had maligned.

“This is a pattern. A pattern of divisiveness, of a very dark and in many ways dangerous vision of our country where he incites violence, where he applauds people who are pushing and pulling and punching at his rallies. That is not who America is,” she said.

Trump entered the debate hoping to reverse his fading momentum in an election that opinion polls show is tilting away from him. The New York businessman has raised concerns by claiming the election will be rigged against him, and has urged supporters to patrol polling places in inner cities to prevent voter fraud.

The two presidential rivals had a tough but issues-based exchanges on abortion, gun rights and immigration during the 90-minute showdown, but occasionally reacted angrily.

Clinton said she would raise taxes on the wealthy to help fund the U.S. government’s Social Security retirement program, but suggested Trump might try to find a way out of paying the higher taxes.

“Such a nasty woman,” Trump said.

Trump, 70, and Clinton, 68, battled sharply over the influence of Vladimir Putin, with Clinton calling Trump the Russian president’s puppet and Trump charging Putin had repeatedly outsmarted Clinton.

Clinton said Trump had refused to condemn Putin and Russia for recent cyber attacks.

“He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence officials that are sworn to protect us,” Clinton said.

U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security have said the Russian leadership was responsible for recent cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee and the leaking of stolen emails.

Trump rejected the idea that he was close with Putin, but suggested he would have a better relationship with Russia’s leader than Clinton.

“He said nice things about me,” Trump said. “He has no respect for her, he has no respect for our president and I’ll tell you what, we’re in very serious trouble.”

Clinton responded: ”Well that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

“No, you’re the puppet,” Trump said. “Putin has outsmarted her and Obama every single step of the way,” he said in a reference to U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat like Clinton.

Clinton also said Trump had been “cavalier” about nuclear weapons and should not be trusted with the nuclear codes.

SUPREME COURT

Clinton promised to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who would uphold a woman’s right to abortion laid out in the court’s 1973 Roe vs Wade decision, while Trump promised to appoint what he called “pro-life” justices who would overturn the decision.

Under existing law, Trump said, “You can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

“Honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth,” Trump said.

Clinton said Trump’s “scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.”

“This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make and I do not believe the government should be making it,” Clinton said.

Trump said he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would protect American gun rights.

He has said in the past that Clinton wants to “essentially abolish” the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing a right to bear arms.

Clinton said she supports gun rights, but wants additional regulations on guns, citing examples of children being hurt or killed in gun accidents. “I see no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment.”

Clinton and Trump walked straight to their podiums when they were introduced at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, once again forgoing the traditional handshake as they did at the second debate last week in St. Louis, Missouri. This time they did not shake hands at the end of the debate, either.

The debate gave Trump, making his first run for elected office, perhaps his best remaining chance to sway the dwindling number of Americans who are still undecided about their vote.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady, leads in national polls and in most of the battleground states where the election will likely be decided. The debate was her opportunity to make a closing argument on why she is best suited to succeed Obama.

Clinton has struggled to get past concerns about transparency raised over her use of a private email server for work communications while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

The two candidates clashed over accusations that Clinton as secretary of state did favors for high-dollar donors to her family’s Clinton Foundation. Asked about a potential conflict of interest, she said she acted “in furtherance of our country’s values and interests.”

She and Trump talked over each other, Clinton defending her ties to the foundation, saying “there is no evidence” of a conflict, while Trump said the foundation should return millions of dollars to countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar who treat gay people harshly.

“It’s a criminal enterprise,” Trump said.

Clinton said she would be happy to compare the Clinton Foundation to Trump’s charitable Trump Foundation, which among its activities was to buy “a six-foot statue of Donald.”

(Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson in Las Vegas and Luciana Lopez in New York; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Howard Goller)

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton listen during their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 19, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Debate: Will Fox News’ Chris Wallace Let Trump Off Easy?

Fox News played a key role in Donald Trump’s ascension to the Republican presidential nomination. Now one of the network’s hosts, Chris Wallace, is preparing to moderate tonight’s final debate of the election cycle.

Trump used regular appearances on Fox to build a political following during and following his 2011 birther crusade. During the Republican primary, the network gave him more than double the interview time of any other candidate, regularly providing him a friendly venue to speak to its conservative audience. In recent months, Trump has retreated almost completely to Fox News, with Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the network’s Fox & Friends hosts providing virtually all of his national TV interviews.

The Commission on Presidential Debates responded by granting a Fox employee a coveted role as a presidential debate moderator for the first time in the network’s history.

As Media Matters and others have pointed out, Wallace has a massive conflict of interest. Over the summer, Fox News founder Roger Ailes was removed from his position as network chief following allegations from dozens of women that he had engaged in a pattern of workplace sexual harassment. Following Ailes’ resignation, Wallace praised him as a mentor and personal friend. Ailes is now reportedly advising both the Trump campaign and Wallace’s boss, Rupert Murdoch.

Wallace’s defenders have cited his tough interview style and the “grilling” he gave Trump during the Republican primary debates. Media Matters has at times highlighted tough questions that Wallace has asked Republicans on his Fox News Sunday program. But in recent interviews, Wallace has explicitly said that he has no intention of providing such a forum tonight, claiming that the proper role of a moderator is as a “timekeeper,” not a “truth squad.”

Given the constraints Wallace says he has placed on himself — and his network’s history of conservative misinformation — here’s what we expect to see at tonight’s debate.

With No Moderator Fact-Checking, Trump Has Free Rein To Lie With Abandon

The only way for viewers to get accurate information when Trump is a participant in a debate is for the moderator to “fact-check him” “in real time.” That’s what Wallace said after the Fox host deployed a series of pre-made graphics about some of Trump’s most common lies during a March primary debate.

Wallace is right. Trump lies constantly, in a manner unprecedented for a presidential candidate. If he lies on the debate stage and the other candidate is the only one prepared to respond, viewers will be left without a clear answer on matters of simple fact.

But since being named a general election moderator, Wallace has changed his tune. Asked last month how he would respond if the nominees “make assertions that you know to be untrue,” Wallace replied, “That’s not my job. I do not believe it is my job to be a truth squad. It’s up to the other person to catch them on that.” He later added that such “truth squading” is “a step too far.”

Trump will benefit from this stance, which is likely why he praised Wallace’s comments.

Trump Will Run Wild If Wallace Just Acts As “A Timekeeper”

The last two debates have seen the moderators stretched to their limits as they tried to get Trump to answer their questions and he evaded them and countered with seemingly endless tangential attacks on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump doesn’t have to worry about that this time. Wallace said during a Sunday interview that as a moderator, “you’re there as a timekeeper, but you’re not a participant. You’re there just to make sure that they engage in the most interesting and fairest way possible.”

If that’s the case, we could see a version of Trump completely unhindered by any restrictions, at a time when he’s shown a willingness to descend to the most conspiratorial depths.

Wallace’s Questions Will Set Up A False Equivalence Between Clinton And Trump

Wallace has decided that one of the six 15-minute debate periods will be devoted to the issue of each nominee’s “fitness to be president.” This will likely involve both Clinton and Trump fielding questions from the moderator about issues that suggest they are not fit to be president.

This sets up a classic false equivalence trap.

Trump is an unprecedented major party nominee. He has received support from white nationalists; called for an unconstitutional Muslim ban; issued racist attacks on Mexican immigrants; fomented violence against protestors and the press; shown little interest in policy or the constraints of the presidency; and operated a foundation as a self-dealing scam. He has a long history of failed business ventures that left everyone else holding the bag, and he is currently responding to allegations of sexual assault from at least 10 women by declaring that a massive conspiracy by the media, as well as unsubstantiated voter fraud, are all that can keep him from the presidency. He has drawn opposition from numerous Republican and conservative leaders as well as newspaper editorial boards that have supported every GOP nominee for decades.

Meanwhile, Clinton is a well-known politician with decades of experience in public service who has drawn scrutiny from the press regarding her email setup and foundation.

If Wallace devotes equal attention to the “fitness” of both candidates, he cannot help but mislead his audience.

Wallace Will Bring Up Benghazi

It seems overwhelmingly unlikely that the first Fox News-hosted presidential debate will ignore the topic that has consumed that network since 2012: the attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Fox has sought to keep the “scandal” alive with myth after myth for too long to let it go on the biggest possible stage. Indeed, after the first debate, Wallace’s colleagues complained that the the terror attack hadn’t come up.

There Will Be No Mention Of The Elephant In The Room

It should be impossible for Wallace to avoid asking Trump about the many women who have come forward over the past 10 days and said that the 2005 video of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women was consistent with their experiences with the GOP nominee.

But one factor is unlikely to come up: the Trump campaign advisor who was forced out of his previous job after dozens of women came forward to say that he had sexually harassed them. The founder of Wallace’s place of employment. The man Wallace called “the best boss I’ve had” and said he “loved” and for whom he has shed tears. The man who built the conservative media infrastructure and modern Republican Party in which a man like Trump could claim the nomination. Roger Ailes.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Photo: Flickr / DonkeyHotey