Bill Clinton will crush Donald Trump — with a smile

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When I was growing up in New York, I wanted to be a professional boxer, but was smart enough to know that if I entered the ring with Muhammad Ali — then heavyweight champion of the world — they’d have to bring out the smelling salts within seconds and the ambulance would soon arrive to cart me away on a stretcher!

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should consider such thoughts as he ponders his plan to go mano a mano against Bill Clinton, the most popular living former president and the heavyweight champion of American politics today. So might Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is widely despised among his GOP Senate colleagues, could well be defeated for reelection to the Senate from Texas and runs for president as the “Trump Lite” candidate. Bill Clinton is the heavyweight champion of American politics because his presidency is fondly remembered as a time when the nation was blessed with rising prosperity and tens of millions of new jobs and a widespread optimism that America was on the right track and tomorrow would be better than today.

While Clinton was promoting the policies that created the prosperity that lifted the national economy — with current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by his side as his first lady and closest confidant — Trump heaped lavish praise on the highly successful president and the policies he advanced.

After President Clinton left office and Hillary Clinton entered the Senate and won praise on both sides of the aisle — including respect from GOP Senators that Cruz could not dare to dream of — Trump heaped extravagant praise on Hillary Clinton, whom he supported in her campaigns for the Senate and the Democratic nomination in 2008.

Speaking on Fox News in 2012, continuing his two decades of high praise for both Clintons, Trump offered effusive compliments for Hillary Clinton’s work as secretary of State, saying he was biased because he had known both Clintons so well for so long. Truer words were never spoken by the man who today sings a different song and whose statements were recently awarded the “Lie of the Year” by the politically neutral fact-checker Politifact.

My good friend, advertising executive Roy Spence, invented one of the most brilliant ad campaigns in history: “Don’t mess with Texas.” My advice to Trump, which he will regret not taking, is don’t mess with Bill Clinton, who will bury him with a wink of his eye and a smile on his face.

Clinton remains a world leader and global statesman who is admired by leaders of nations around the world, while Trump is condemned even by conservative leaders of American allies, is strongly criticized by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and is reduced to basking in high praise offered by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and kind words from supporters of neo-fascist parties in Europe.

Clinton is a globally renowned philanthropist who makes life better for people around the world through the superb work of the Clinton Foundation, which brings together leaders in government, business, philanthropy and academia. By contrast, Trump has much explaining to do about various bankruptcies of companies he has been associated with and why he brags about his skill at manipulating bankruptcy laws to enhance his wealth while inflicting punishment on workers and investors in Trump-related businesses that failed.

Clinton is the happy warrior of American politics, who has demonstrated great skill working with political opponents to make government function effectively, while Trump praises himself for giving money to politicians to peddle influence and insults widely respected leaders such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose intensely patriotic heroism in military service he denies.

Clinton stands for a politics that is inclusive and respectful and offers every American a seat at the table, while Trump has a penchant for calling women he dislikes “fat pigs” and “bimbos,” ridicules disabled Americans with disgusting impersonations of a New York Times reporter, insults Hispanic immigrants with words such as rapists and murderers, and helps the recruiting of murderous terrorists by playing to fear and bigotry against Muslims.

There are good reasons why Bill Clinton has earned the vast popularity he possesses and why Donald Trump has earned the sky-high negative ratings that plague him with national voters, and the loudmouthed bully of GOP politics would be well-advised to not mess with the heavyweight champion of the American political world.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.

 

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To Donald Trump, the thrice-married hypocrite: Let’s look at your history and teach you what sexism really is

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Donald Trump is just exposing himself by roping in Bill Clinton’s past infidelity into campaign

While you were playing with your new video game/Apple product/puppy this post-Christmas weekend, Donald Trump went off into a defensive spiral. Before Christmas, Hillary Clinton gave an interview to the Des Moines Register where she correctly noted that Trump has “a penchant for sexism,” for calling her “disgusting” for having to use the bathroom during the most recent debate, something he quite clearly feels the female half of the species should not sully itself with.

The phrase “penchant for sexism” clearly got under Trump’s skin, as he gnawed on it obsessively like a dog with a bone over the weekend.

It was a ridiculous display to witness, but there’s no reason to think it will do anything but endear him to his already robust base. However, the tantrum shows why Trump is going to have a lot of problems translating the enthusiasm that his bigotry-happy supporters have for him to the larger public, which tends to find this stuff distasteful.

Trump’s response to Clinton has been, in line with the levels of maturity he has demonstrated throughout this campaign, to implement the “I know you are, but what am I?” strategy. On Fox News on Sunday, Trump whined that Clinton is playing the “woman card” when she defends herself against men, like Trump, who imply that her gender disqualifies her from the White House.

This is a common right-wing rhetorical trick, to argue that the foul is not in disparaging someone for her gender, but in mentioning gender at all. That allows them to draw a false equivalence between saying “women are equal” and “women are inferior,” but one should not be fooled. Mentioning gender is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. The bad thing is in what Trump does, which is deriding women for having bodily functions and implying that the only value they have on earth is aesthetic.

Trump spent most of the holiday obsessing over the phrase “penchant for sexism” on Twitter.

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He then tried to rope Bill Clinton into this:

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He elaborated on what he meant by this on “Fox News Sunday,” by arguing that Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky counts as sexism, an argument that he doubled down on, by equating it with “abuse” on Twitter.

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The assumption here is that “sexism” or “abuse” is defined as “stuff women don’t like,” such as their husbands cheating on them. It’s a rhetorical strategy that equates an extramarital affair with hitting women or raping women, an equation that non-coincidentally functions to minimize the seriousness of violence against women. Abusing your wife is a crime, but cheating is not, all for a very good reason.

To Trump and his right-wing followers that tend to perceive feminism as nothing more than women yapping too much when they probably have something they need to be cleaning instead, this definition of sexism probably feels about right. Most people, however, grasp that one can have an affair, even a highly inappropriate affair with a much-younger woman, while still maintaining the belief that women are equal to men and capable of doing things like holding higher office.

Bill Clinton is living proof of this. This is, after all, the same man who recently joked, “I am tired of the stranglehold that women have had on the job of presidential spouse.” Whatever personal flaws he may have — which are many — it’s also inarguable that he has openly espoused a belief in female equality his whole career and backed that belief up with his policies and his enthusiastic support of his feminist wife’s career.

It’s easy to see why Trump, whose current wife is only three years older than Monica Lewinsky, might struggle to see the distinction between an unfortunate dalliance and a lifelong pattern of deriding women for aging, having bodily functions, or for going in public for any other reason than to audition to be Mrs. Trump No. 4. And, as has been amply demonstrated, Trump supporters tend to think every dumb thought that comes spilling out of his head is gold.

But the public does understand these distinctions, which is why obsessing over Clinton’s affair has generally backfired on those who indulge. When Republicans impeached Clinton over his affair in the ’90s, the result was that Clinton’s approval ratings soared to 73%a level that is nearly impossible for presidents to achieve, particularly during that era, where the cynicism we currently have about politics was really beginning to harden into place. The public tends to perceive the fascination with Clinton’s affair as little more than panty-sniffing puritanism, which is, of course, exactly what it is.

It’s doubly stupid of Trump to go there, because there’s the added issue of hypocrisy. Trump’s own affair with Marla Maples, a woman 17 years his junior who became his second wife, was second only to Clinton’s affair in terms of being the sex scandal of the 1990s. If Trump wants to set aside policy ideas, public behavior, and advocacy work in favor of judging a man’s respect towards women strictly by his failures as a husband, well, he still loses that battle. Clinton had affairs that his marriage survived. Trump blew up his first marriage to marry his much-younger mistress.

What is amazing about all this is that Trump has to know he’s playing with fire here. Right now, both Republicans and Democrats have kept his personal life out of the campaign, because they know that voters tend to think that’s playing dirty. But if he himself opens the door, then it becomes fair game. While his supporters will no doubt get defensive and rally around him harder, reminding the general public that Donald Trump set the template for the rich man who regularly trades in his wives for younger models is not to his benefit in a general election. It will hurt him especially against a female candidate whose very existence shows that women have more to offer the world besides youth and beauty.

But that’s the defining feature of Trump’s campaign. Whether it’s personal short-sightedness or because he’s got some impossible-to-understand long game going on here, Trump will choose endearing himself to his bigot base over expanding his appeal every single time.

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After Donald Trump demanded an apology from Hillary Clinton

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IRONY!

After Donald Trump demanded an apology from Hillary Clinton, who recently accused him of helping ISIS recruit members due to his anti-Muslim rhetoric, the Democratic front runner responded, and it wasn’t what the billionaire real estate mogul wanted to hear.

“HELL NO!”

Let’s be honest, Trump should first apologize to blacks, Latinos, Muslims, refugees, women, and the poor for his hate-filled rhetoric, which has been used as an excuse to harm individuals at his rallies, and offending millions.

Hillary Stands With the Latino Community, and I Stand With Her

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In my nearly 30 years of public service, I have seen many pay lip service to the Latino community, especially around election time. Only a loyal few have stood by us through thick and thin and advocated for the issues most important to Hispanic families.

Hillary Clinton is the only candidate for President with a long-standing record of fighting for our community, dating back to her efforts to register Latino voters in South Texas in 1972. As first lady, she held the first ever White House Convening on Hispanic Children and Youth, and played a key role in creating the Children’s Health Care Program (CHIP), which with Medicaid has benefitted millions of Latino children. Since then she has fought to provide Latino families with access to health care, quality education and better pay; protect DREAMers; and pass comprehensive immigration reform to keep families together. She stood with our community when her vote mattered. No candidate will fight harder on behalf of Latinos than Hillary. And no one will be able to accomplish as much.

Hillary is acutely aware of the cost of inaction on immigration, for immigrants, their families, and for society at large. Earlier this year she met with Las Vegas DREAMers who shared their experiences living in fear that they or their parents would be deported. Hillary assured them that she would not only defend President Obama’s executive actions for DREAMers but go further to make deferred action possible for their parents as well. She understands what creating and defending legal immigration means to who we are as a nation and the success of our economy and that we must get immigrants and their families fully integrated into our communities.

At a time when the Republican candidates fight over who will build the bigger wall and who will deport more families, Hillary has demonstrated real compassion and reached out to immigrant communities. She has defended America’s immigrants from the hate espoused by the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Voters who care about justice, about fairness, and inclusion — those of us who feel we are made great by our citizens and those who aspire to be citizens — have seen how she has stood up to the bullies who aspire to be President.

On another issue critically important to me and many other Latinos, the crisis in Puerto Rico, Hillary stands far above the rest. She has called on Congress to help the 3.5 million U.S. citizens living on the island by granting Puerto Rico equal treatment under the bankruptcy code. This would not cost U.S. taxpayers a dime but would provide relief to everyday Puerto Ricans, who would no longer be forced to abandon their homes. She also recognizes deeper, structural obstacles facing Puerto Rico and how critical economic development and job creation are for the Island’s citizens, as well as the ability to obtain the same Medicare and Medicaid benefits as those living on the mainland.

Hillary is the most qualified candidate to tackle the challenges facing working class and middle class families struggling to get ahead in this country. She has a proven track record of reaching across party lines to do what is in the best interest of the American people. As she put it recently, she’s a “progressive who likes to get things done.” And that is exactly what she would do as President: she would get things done for Latinos and all Americans. Hillary is ready to lead, and I am proud to stand with her.

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TRUE: Clinton says John Kerry was the first secretary of state to rely on a government email account

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Members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi peppered Hillary Clinton with questions for about 11 hours on Oct. 22, 2015. As expected, Clinton’s use of a private email account and server was a topic of discussion.

At one point, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., pressed Clinton on whether she had told State Department officials about emails on her private server.

Westmoreland: If they were gathering emails, you had to tell them that you had a private server when you were there.

Clinton: Well, the — the server is not the point, it’s the account. And I made it a practice to send emails that were work-related to people on their government accounts. In fact, you know, Secretary Kerry is the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a government account.

This is not the first time that Clinton, her staff or her supporters have talked about how other secretaries of state have used email. Of course, the historical comparison can’t go back very far because the country hasn’t had many secretaries since the advent of email.

In fact, beyond Clinton herself — and Kerry, who has to abide by a requirement to use departmental email — we only have three secretaries of state to consider. They are Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

Of those, Powell is the only one who used email very much at all.

According to MSNBC, an aide for Albright said she “did not use email while she was in office” from 1997 to 2001.

Similarly, Rice, head of the State Department from 2005 to 2009, was not a habitual emailer either, according to multiple reports. As Harf noted in a State Department briefing, “Secretary Rice has repeatedly said that she did not regularly use email,” and a spokesperson for Rice told ABC, “She did not use personal email for official communication as secretary.”

Powell, on the other hand, took it as his personal mission to get the entire department on email.

“I arrived at the State Department as secretary with a disastrous information system there,” Powell said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sept. 6, 2015. “And I had to fix it. And so what I had to do is bring the State Department to the 21st century.”

In his book It Worked for Me, Powell tells how he got Congress to pay for 44,000 new computers and put an Internet-connected machine on every desk in every embassy and every office in the department.

“To complement the official State Department computer in my office, I installed a laptop computer on a private line,” Powell wrote. “My personal email account on the laptop allowed me direct access to anyone online. I started shooting emails to my principal assistants, to individual ambassadors, and increasingly to my foreign-minister colleagues who like me were trying to bring their ministries in the 186,000 miles per second world.”

An aide to Powell confirmed his use of this personal email account in a statement to Politico.

“He sent emails to his staff generally via their State Department email addresses,” the statement said. “These emails should be on the State Department computers.”

So, Powell was on email, but it was through a private, not government email account.

Our ruling

Clinton said Kerry was the first secretary to rely mainly on a government email account.

This statement is accurate, but it glosses over a bit of context — that only one secretary before Clinton herself, Colin Powell, used email much at all while secretary of state. This undercuts the implication of Clinton’s claim, that there was a tradition of sorts of secretaries of state using private email accounts. It was a tradition of one. We rate the claim Mostly True.

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Hillary Clinton Live-Texts Her Reaction to the Republican Debate

Hillary Clinton appeared to be having a grand-old time during the third GOP debate tonight as she watched – and live-texted her reactions – from her hotel in New Hampshire, where she is currently campaigning.

“Hillary here. I’m here in New Hampshire watching the GOP debate – how about you?” she texted to her supporters. “Reply YES to get texts from me tonight.”

The text was signed “-H,” meaning it was sent from Clinton herself.

Throughout the debate, Clinton continued to text her supporters – hitting the Republican candidates on issues such as college affordability and equal pay. She called out Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson specifically on health care.

“For a surgeon, Ben Carson has a pretty poor diagnosis,” she texted. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made on health care.”

Seems to me 10 Candidates and 0 new ideas
- Hillary Clinton
It’s past time for the GOP to start putting the safety of our kids and communities ahead of the NRA 
and gun manufactures. This is a mater of life or death. 

- Hillary Clinton
The hardest part about college shouldn't be paying for it. We need real plans to make college affordable and available for everyone.
- Hillary Clinton
For a surgeon, Ben Carson has a pretty poor diagnosis. We need to build on the progress we’ve made on health care. 
- Hillary Clinton
Discrimination against the LGBT community is not a myth. It’s a reality for too many Americans and it’s wrong.
- Hillary Clinton
You don’t have to be a scientist to know that climate change is real and we need to address it.

- Hillary Clinton

In addition to the texts, Clinton’s campaign aired four new television ads in both Iowa and New Hampshire during the GOP debate on similar issues that Clinton brought up tonight, including equal pay and college affordability.