WASHINGTON – Donald Trump continued Friday to suggest some of his women accusers weren’t attractive to him and said of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, ”when she walked in front of me I wasn’t impressed.”
It all occurred in a rambling address where Trump expressed exasperation with the news media, his political opponents, and the growing list of women accusing him of unwanted sexual touching.
A partisan crowd burst out laughing when he mentioned Clinton. Trump fumed that he’d been accused of invading her space at the last debate. He said he was simply standing at his podium — and she walked past.
”She walks in front of me,” Trump told the North Carolina crowd.
”And, believe me, when she walked in front of me I wasn’t impressed.”
It was in keeping with the tone of Friday afternoon’s rally. Trump fumed at the growing list of women accusing him of sexual misconduct — in fact, one former contestant on his television show, ”The Apprentice,” was holding such a news conference at that same moment.
Trump insulted his accusers for a second straight day. In reference to one, he said, ”When you looked at that horrible woman last night you said, ‘I don’t think so.’… Believe me, she would not be my first choice.” He also questioned why a Canadian who formerly wrote for People magazine never included his supposed 2005 groping in a story until now.
He added of her: ”(This) never would happen. I don’t think it would happen with very many people — but they certainly wouldn’t happen with me… Check out her Facebook page — you’ll understand.”
Trump acknowledged his campaign team wanted him to stop discussing this stuff, and start focusing on jobs. His horrible approval ratings among women are a big reason he’s trailing in most surveys by about seven percentage points, prompting Democrats to start musing about the once-unthinkable possibility of regaining control of both chambers of Congress.
But Trump said he couldn’t let it go.
He railed against the dishonest press. In passing, Trump noted that one of the newspapers writing about the sexual allegations, the New York Times, is part-owned by a Mexican, billionaire Carlos Slim.
Trump fumed: Why don’t they talk about my big crowds? Why won’t they write about Democrats’ emails published on Wikileaks?
According to U.S. intelligence, the emails were stolen by Russian hackers in an effort to influence the American election. Some of the revelations being promoted as stories by the Republican party include:
—Summaries of speeches where Clinton urged bankers to take public and private positions on controversial issues.
—An email where top Democrat Donna Brazile, who does commentary on CNN, learned about questions to be asked at a town hall and tipped off the Clinton campaign.
—A Clinton campaign aide joking with a friend about Fox News’ owner sending his children to Catholic school. Someone working at a think-tank replied that perhaps Rupert Murdoch was attracted to systematic thought and backwards gender relations.
Other emails are being misleadingly edited and distributed in social media. For instance, one email chain on right-wing blogs said Clinton hates ”everyday Americans.” In fact, an email chain showed she dislikes the term, which her campaign briefly used last year in reference to working-class voters.
This kind of crazy conspiracy-mongering is what gave the Republican party Donald Trump, President Barack Obama said Friday.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, the president said top Republicans had only themselves to blame. He said party leaders turned a blind eye for years to insane conspiracy theories being peddled by supporters.
As one example, he cited the rumours about him being born in Africa — which Trump encouraged. Another example was a military training exercise last year — which some on the right feared was a plot to invade Texas. In an attempt to appease the rumour-mongers, the state’s Republican governor asked the Texas National Guard to keep an eye on things.
”A lot of Republican elected officials have just stood by,” Obama told an Ohio rally.
”Over time, because a lot of the hard-core Republican partisan voters were just hearing this stuff over and over again, they started to believe it. And that’s what allowed Donald Trump suddenly to emerge. Donald Trump didn’t build all this crazy conspiracy stuff. And some Republicans who knew better stood by silently, and even during the course of this campaign, didn’t say anything.
”I know some of them now are walking away, but why did it take you this long? You said you’re the party of family values. What, you weren’t appalled earlier when he was saying degrading things about women, when he was judging them based on a score of, ‘Are they a two or a 10? That wasn’t enough for you?”