Presidential campaigns often get dirty, but in the showdown between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and business tycoon Donald Trump, there seems to be truly nothing that's off-limits. In fact, it's gotten to be so "high school" that the candidates have started a back-and-forth over who will sit with their campaigns at lunch — or, excuse me, Monday's presidential debate. As it turns out, former actress and model Gennifer Flowers won't attend the debate at Trump's invitation.
On Sunday morning, Indiana Governor and Trump's running mate Mike Pence told Fox News' Chris Wallace that Flowers won't be at the debate, which is scheduled to take place Monday night at Hofstra University in New York. Pence's revelation runs contrary to what's been spreading through the rumor mill and on social media. Flowers herself tweeted on Saturday that she would "definitely be at the debate."
Why would she be there in the first place? Trump may have invited Flowers, at least via one of his infamous tweets, to get back at Clinton for one of her debate guests. Clinton has reportedly reserved a front-row seat for billionaire businessman and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, who has been outspoken in his opposition to Trump. Clearly, Trump didn't approve.
Flowers is relevant to Trump's cause because of her former involvement with former President Bill Clinton. During Clinton's own presidential campaign in 1992, Flowers claimed that she had had an affair with the then-candidate. In 1998, Clinton himself finally confirmed the relationship.
Trump has used the former POTUS's infidelity against his wife often throughout the current presidential campaign. "She wants to accuse me of things and the husband is one of the great abusers of the world... Give me a break," Trump previously said. On Monday, the former secretary of state will take the stage opposite Trump, and she may have to come face-to-face with some of those seemingly unfair criticisms.
For her part, Flowers entered the debate conversation by responding to Trump's tweet with one of her own. "Hi Donald. You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate," she tweeted on Saturday. In recent weeks, Flowers has also tweeted photos of magazine covers that feature her photo and point to a story about the affair she had with the former president.
Ultimately, the drama between Clinton and Trump goes far beyond who attends Monday's presidential debate. The debate will be the first of at least three opportunities for Clinton and Trump to take the stage together and discuss real issues. Let's hope the conversation does, in fact, stay focused on those real issues.