The GOP presidential nominee is known for speaking his mind, but Donald Trump's comments on Hillary Clinton's personal life during Monday's debate may have gone too far. At one point, he vaguely claimed he could say something "extremely rough to Hillary" and her family, but apparently refrained. Trump was referring to attacking Bill Clinton's personal life, he confirmed to Mark Halperin. He seems to have forgotten that Hillary, not Bill, is running for president, and that attacks should be aimed appropriately.
This isn't the first time he's threatened to bring Clinton's husband's personal life into the mix. In response to Mark Cuban planning to sit front row at Monday's debate, Trump tweeted that "perhaps he will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!" (Bill had sexual relations with Flowers, he admitted under oath in 1998.) Trump has also alleged that Clinton was an enabler of Bill's sexual conduct.
But Clinton is not her husband, and his personal life has little to do with her ability to lead the country as president. Clinton very easily could have brought up Trump's alleged affair with Marla Maples. But she didn't. Instead, she chose to attack Trump on his actions and positions on issues related to policy and the presidential campaign rather than his tumultuous personal life.
Clinton has faced sexism for her entire life, from when she was still Hillary Rodham in 1980 and Bill's political opponent Frank White disparaged her for not changing her last name, to when she was called "shrill" this year for raising her voice in a debate against Bernie Sanders. Even more recently, Trump has accused Clinton of playing the "women's card". Clinton shouldn't have to put up with Trump's predictable gender-based attacks, especially when Trump is trying to hold her responsible for her husband's behavior, which, unless she somehow gained magical abilities, she has no control over.
When asked by debate moderator Lester Holt what he meant when he said Clinton doesn't have a presidential look, Trump responded by saying Clinton lacks stamina, an attack he has been making about Clinton's health for months. Clinton could have pointed out that Trump does not exercise. She also could have pointed out that she is younger than him and as a woman more likely to live longer. But, as usual, she took the high road and gave examples that demonstrated her stamina, such as the 11 hours she spent testifying in front of a congressional committee.
Clinton has had to waste valuable time refuting Trump's inappropriate statements about her. And during Monday's debate, she called out his statements about other women as well, saying:
He tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs. And someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers. Who has said women don't deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.
If Trump wants to convince America that he respects women (as he has told the press on many occasions), he needs to stop bringing up the Clintons' personal lives. He needs to stop calling women disrespectful names, and he needs to promote policies that take care of women.