Chris Wallace Compares Bill Clinton’s Allegations To Donald Trump’s, But One Of Them Isn’t Running For President
During the final presidential debate of the campaign season, and the last chance for a national TV audience to see GOP nominee Donald Trump answer for the multiple sexual assault allegations that have emerged against him, moderator Chris Wallace dropped the ball ― Wallace compared Bill Clinton's allegations to Trump's in one question to both candidates, despite the notable fact that Bill isn't running for president this time around.
It was a glaring moment, given the controversy that’s embroiled the Trump campaign over the past couple of weeks ― both in the form of the Access Hollywood tape that exposed his crude objectification of women and his boasting about non-consentually groping their genitals, and the nine women who’ve since come forward alleging the 70-year-old GOP nominee did exactly what he said on the tape: kissed and groped them without consent.
Trump, for the record, has vehemently denied the allegations, deriding the women who’ve accused him as “horrible liars,” and even suggesting that they’re not attractive enough for the allegations to be true. He’s also brazenly attempted to deflect attention on his own allegations by raising past accusations against Bill, and Wallace gave him a huge helping hand in that regard ― he packaged together the question about Trump's alleged misdeeds along with Bill's, and asked both candidates to respond.
Here's what he said, with all due credit to the Washington Post's running transcript.
Mr. Trump, at the last debate, you said your talk about grabbing women was just that, talk, and that you'd never actually done it. And since then, as we all know, nine women have come forward and have said that you either groped them or kissed them without their consent.
Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years, why would they all in this last couple of weeks make up -- you deny this -- why would they all make up these stories?
Since this is a question for both of you, Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump says what your husband did and that you defended was even worse. Mr. Trump, you go first.
Unsurprisingly, Trump's response was that the allegations are untrue, and that the accusations may have been orchestrated by the Clinton campaign.
Trump, to this point, has failed to quell the scandal surrounding the women who've accused him, and polling suggests that it's taken a real toll ― he's currently losing women by 20 points, a margin higher than 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who notably didn't come close to beating President Obama. In other words, just as the state-by-state polls and national polls are stacked against Trump, the demographic breakdowns are looking extremely bleak, as well.
As such, it's no surprise that Trump would try to deflect to the allegations against Bill, because what else can he do? There's no evidence it's working, however. And although the multiple allegations of sexual assault against the former president are serious matters that deserve scrutiny (arguably a lot more scrutiny than they received at the time, and continue to), he is not the person Trump is running against.
And if there's anything Hillary Clinton has proven through the years, it's that it's not effective to try to saddle her with her husband's record and history. To the contrary, it comes across as sexist and distracting ― even more so when Trump's done it, considering he's trying to distract from his own alleged assaults. Hopefully this attempt to weaponize sexual assault allegations will die down as the election winds to a close, because as it stands now, things remain profoundly traumatic and exhausting.