Tuesday night was a huge night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While neither candidate officially won their party’s nomination, both made it practically impossible for anyone to beat them – especially Clinton, whose lead is all but insurmountable at this point. For Trump, there’s still the possibility that the party could “steal” the nomination from him at the convention, but that’s a completely separate (and chaotic) issue.
For all intents and purposes, on Tuesday night, Clinton and Trump cemented themselves as the presumptive nominees for each of their parties.
So it should come as no surprise that both candidates seemingly made a “pivot” toward the general election by directly addressing one another during their speeches. While Clinton’s wasn’t really anything she hasn’t said before, Trump essentially began his “general election self-implosion” that I’ve been predicting for months during his lengthy brag-fest Tuesday night.
During his usual shtick of lies and how amazing he is, he literally said that if Clinton were a man she wouldn’t be polling above five percent. He also went on to say that all she has going for her is the “woman’s card” which is a “beautiful thing” because “women don’t like her.”
It’s one thing to imply that – it’s another thing to literally say that one of the most admired women in the world owes her success to playing the “woman’s card.” That’s about as sexist and condescending as you’ll ever see a legitimate presidential candidate act.
Well, his sexism and ignorance did not go unnoticed as Rachel Maddow absolutely crushed his ridiculous comments.
“As our colleague and friend Nicolle Wallace pointed out earlier this evening, Donald Trump does have a general election problem,” Maddow said. “Even if he gets this nomination, even if everything goes the way it has been for him during the primary as he heads toward the general election, he brings with him a big problem with women voters.”
This is absolutely true. A recent Gallup poll showed that 70 percent of women have an unfavorable view of Trump. The most problematic aspect of that number isn’t just how alarmingly high it is, it’s that it’s actually 12 points worse than it was last July.
Well, Maddow wasn’t done.
“To say about the woman that you’re running against that the only reason she’s in the race is because she’s a woman,” she continued. “That her achievement is basically the result of some sort of affirmative action, some favor being paid to her as a woman – and that as a human being she is patently unqualified when she is the former two-term senator from New York and the former secretary of state and has the experience that she’s had, I do think that even a lot of Republican women will read that wrong.”
She’s absolutely right.
While his rhetoric will clearly play well with a decent chunk of Republican voters, there’s still a sizable portion of the Republican party who aren’t exactly fans of his. In fact, I’ve encountered a few who’ve said they’d rather try to vote for Clinton over Trump. Not because they’re supporters of Clinton, but because they damn sure don’t want Trump destroying their party for four years. They would rather try to beat her in 2020 than see him run for re-election.
Not only that, but you don’t have to like a person to at least acknowledge their accomplishments on some level. But the real issue here is that Trump’s comments concerning Clinton didn’t sound like he was specifically targeting her – but a lot of women who’ve ascended to powerful positions. After all, this is Trump we’re talking about here – someone who has a well-documented past of demanding and belittling women and their accomplishments. His run-ins with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly over the last few months have been well documented.
Trump’s “general election implosion” is something I’ve talked about with people for a while, especially if he has to run against Hillary Clinton. While I have no doubt Bernie Sanders would have run circles around him (especially during debates), Trump’s real weakness is when he has to deal with women. When that happens, his blatant sexism gets the best of him and he often goes completely off the rails. Heck, he completely skipped a debate just to avoid having to face Megyn Kelly, which actually ended up costing him Iowa.
What we saw Tuesday night was just the beginning, because if Trump ultimately becomes the GOP nominee then there’s nothing the RNC can do to control him. Not that they have much control now, but it’s still possible they can steal the nomination from him. So Trump still has to be play somewhat nice with the party as to not give them an easy excuse to potentially take the nomination from him.
Once Donald Trump officially becomes the nominee (if that happens), what we’ve seen and heard thus far is going to seem tame when compared to the disgusting and deplorable things he’ll most certainly say during the general election.
Watch Maddow’s comments below via MSNBC: