Well, that didn’t take long to escalate into a full-blown battle between Donald Trump and the Clintons over decades of scandals and stories that still haunt the former first-couple to this day. Trump is taking flack for it from many Republicans who are fearful that attacking Hillary in this manner could backfire on the presumptive GOP nominee.
Report from the Washington Post:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton’s character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton’s campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy.
Trump’s latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee’s willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival.
The real estate mogul has said in recent interviews that a range of Clinton-related controversies will be at the center of his case against Hillary Clinton.
“They said things about me which were very nasty. And I don’t want to play that game at all. I don’t want to play it — at all. But they said things about me that were very nasty,” Trump told The Washington Post in an interview. “And, you know, as long as they do that, you know, I will play at whatever level I have to play at. I think I’ve proven that.” [Emphasis added]
I emphasized the last line because I think that is the lesson to take from watching the primary, and watching what amounts to the first few weeks of the general election campaign. If Hillary hits Trump on something, he’ll hit back twice as hard, and nothing is off the table. Is this a smart strategy? The answer depends on who you ask.
There has to be a reason Trump is unleashing this line of attack so early in the race. I’m inclined to think he’s trying to “threaten” the Clinton campaign that he will cross any line necessary, so perhaps Hillary should dial back her “war on women” attacks relating to The Donald.
On the other hand, he could be trying to bury Hillary at a time when she’s still embroiled in the primary with Bernie Sanders. She’s taking hits from all sides, Trump probably sees this is as a pile-on opportunity, perhaps even hoping to boost Sanders in the process.
Is this is a smart strategy to take on the Clintons, or does it speak to desperation that Trump is afraid to deal with the issues? Give me an answer in the comments.