Despite the differences among them, Republican candidates have succeeded in finding a variety of reasons to attack a common target, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. With Donald Trump’s recent jabs at Clinton making headlines, we decided to examine other instances in which Clinton was publicly maligned by the competition.
Trump: Like clockwork, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s comments steal media attention by virtue of their outlandish nature. In his most recent diatribe, Trump alleged that Clinton’s highly publicized bathroom break during the third Democratic debate was more “disgusting” than audiences had previously been aware. “I know where she went, it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it,” offered Trump to audience laughter. “No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting, let’s not talk, we want to be very, very straight up.”
He then offered his own analysis of Clinton’s 2008 campaign run against Barack Obama. “She was favored to win — and she got schlonged,” said Trump. He suggested that Clinton had a peculiar penchant for losing, before declaring that he saw no presidential potential in the former Secretary of State.
Fiorina: On Sunday, Republican nominee Carly Fiorina described Clinton’s campaign strategy as one in which you “lie as long as you get away with it.” According to Fiorina, Clinton’s success is predicated on this practice and without it, the American public would lose confidence in her.
This purported strategy would better serve Clinton if relegated to engagements with Trump, argued Fiorina. “Because she can beat Donald Trump” stated Fiorina. She insisted that Clinton would be forced to confront her own “lack of trustworthiness” if ever challenged by the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. Fiorina is convinced that she has evidence to bolster her claims suggesting that an investigation of Clinton’s “emails and servers” or the Benghazi scandal will prove sufficient.
Christie: During an appearance on Fox & Friends, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie painted Clinton has an unqualified presidential prospect. Christie posited himself as the one to “stop terrorists” claiming his experience as former federal prosecutor provided him with the requisite knowledge for doing so. Running down his own resume, he stated “I’ve used the PATRIOT Act, I’ve used the foreign intelligence court, I know what actionable intelligence is.”
Further attempting to illustrate the contrasts between Clinton and himself, he dismissed Clinton’s assumption that the U.S. government was “exactly where we want to be on ISIS.” It would behoove Clinton to suspend her campaign and visit the families of the victims of the Paris attacks suggested Christie.
Christie also commented that Clinton’s character would make her a doormat for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Despite Putin’s “decisive” nature, Christie resolved to “push back on him,” leaving Putin’s tactics ineffectual. He referenced Clinton’s strategy of seeking a fresh start to relations with Russia which was followed by Putin’s annexation of Crimea and the war in eastern Ukraine.
By contrast, Clinton has mostly chosen to lump the GOP field together and attack it as a whole instead of responding to Republicans’ specific criticisms. Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri suggested Trump’s “schlonged” comment was offensive to all woman. Trump’s humiliation should therefore be driven by the public at large argued Palmieri.
In the light of the Planned Parenthood shooting, Clinton espoused the medical benefits of the institution. During a November 29th speech in New Hampshire, she insisted “we should be supporting Planned Parenthood, not attacking it.”
She continued: “And it is way past time to protect women’s health and respect women’s rights, not use them as political footballs.”
She also used the recent Paris attacks as a jumping off point for her criticism of the GOP, stating, “this is truly unbelievable, that after what we’ve seen in Paris and other places, Republicans will not bring up a bill that will prohibit anyone on the no-fly list from buying a gun in America.”
Republicans continue to criticize the Clinton campaign for failing to address the specifics of their particular arguments—criticism which undoubtedly presages the differences between the two parties.