Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton may have made a huge mistake bringing her husband former President Bill Clinton on the campaign trail. It is just the first week of 2016 and the presidential campaign has descended into a referendum into Clinton sexual misconduct before and during his presidency. Although the Clintons dismissed Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s recent barrage of attacks it is not just Republicans anymore, Hillary’s Democratic opponent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is joining the chorus. Sanders called Bill Clinton’s behavior “totally disgraceful and unacceptable” at a town hall in Toledo, Iowa, on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016.
At the Iowa town hall, a member of the audience commented to Sanders that Hillary Clinton should not be “qualified” to be president because she supported her husband, the former president through all his sex scandals. Sanders responded, by condemning Bill’s behavior, “Look, Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton. But what Bill Clinton did was totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable. But I am running against Hillary Clinton, not Bill Clinton.”
Despite his strongest condemnation and statement on the issue in the campaign, Sanders said the campaign should be focused on the issues not the personal. Sanders answered, “And I believe and I gotta say this, and I thank you for your question, in this sense, I think what we need to do as a nation, certainly something the Republicans are not doing, is focus on the bloody issues facing this country — the disappearance of the middle class income and wealth inequality.”
This a departure from Sanders previous stance on the former president’s scandals. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Jan. 3 Sanders told CNN he will not be attacking the former president’s past sexual indiscretions. Sanders told host Dana Bash, he does not think Clinton’s sex scandals are “fair game.” Sanders said, “No, I think we’ve got more important things to worry about in this country than Bill Clinton’s sex life.”
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s is also attacking former President Clinton’s sex scandals in response to Hillary accusing him of having a “penchant for sexism.” On Tuesday morning, Dec. 29, Trump told NBC’s Today show that Bill Clinton’s infidelities and sex scandals are “fair game.” Trump said, “Well, if you look at the different situations; of course, we can name many of them. I can get you a list and I’ll have it sent to your office in two seconds. But there were certainly a lot of abuse of women, and you look at whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them.”
Trump began with vague attacks that have become a full frontal assault on Bill’s misconduct as president and towards women, and Hillary’s hypocrisy in her unwavering support of her husband and on women’s issues. Recently, Trump called the former president “one of the world’s great abusers of the world” at a Dec. 30 rally in South Carolina. Trump also tweeted on Jan. 2 “I hope Bill Clinton starts talking about women’s issues so that voters can see what a hypocrite he is and how Hillary abused those women!”
Then on Monday, Jan. 4, Trump spoke to CNN’s “New Day, where he said, “I think that Hillary is an enabler.” About former President Clinton trump said, “A lot of things happened that were very seedy. Obviously it was a big thing. He was impeached for heaven’s sake.” Trump also went after Hillary saying, “She used the word ‘sexist. She used some words that were derogatory. How the hell can she do that when she has one of the great woman abusers of all time waiting for her at the house for dinner?”
In Trump’s most recent attack, he accused Bill Clinton of being like disgraced actor Bill Cosby, who was just charged with rape and has been accused by nearly 60 women of drugging and raping them from the 1960s until recently. On Thursday, Jan. 7, Trump released a campaign ad on social media site Instagram calling himself a “true defender of women’s rights.” The ad highlighted pictures of Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky and Hillary standing with Cosby when he endorsed her run for a New York Senate seat in 2000. The ad uses Hillary’s own words against her, playing a clip from her 1995 address to the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, where she declared, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.”
Former President Clinton just joining this week the campaign trail for his wife in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Although his past is coming back to haunt him, Clinton is dismissing and ignoring Trump’s attacks. When asked by a reporter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa about Trump’s campaign tactics focusing on his scandals as president, Bill responded, “I have no interest in getting involved in (Republican Party) politics or doing anything except working to help Hillary.” The former president dismissed the GOP frontrunner saying, “Donald Trump says a lot of things.”
Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, 21 at the time nearly brought down his presidency leading him to become on the second impeached president, he would have been ousted from office if not for the Democratic Senate that spared him. The Lewinsky scandal consumed 1998; an entire year of his presidency, but the recent referendum on his conduct more has to do with three women that have accused him of sexual harassment, unwanted advances, and rape.
Juanita Broaddrick accused Clinton of raping her 1978, Kathleen Willey accused the president of unwanted advances in 1993 during an Oval Office meeting, and Paula Jones who’s sexual harassment case from a 1991 incident made the Lewinsky affair and of all his past misconduct public knowledge. All three women have public spoken out against Hillary running for president and have agreed with Trump, calling Hillary is a hypocrite, because she publicly attacked and aimed to discredit all the women that accused her husband of misconduct or had ever been involved with him voluntarily.
Broaddrick approves of Trump’s recent attacks. Usually reticent, Broaddrick was unwilling to confirm the rape rumors for years, until 1999 after Clinton was impeached, and she remained quiet for the years since until the 2016 campaign. Broaddrick took to Twitter on Wednesday, Jan. 6 writing, “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.” The Hill spoke to Broaddrick for an interview in which she said about Trump, “He says the things I like to hear.” She also commended Trump for bringing the Clintons’ misconduct towards women back in the limelight, “I’m glad someone did. Everyone has been hanging back and most of the mainstream media won’t approach it but it’s something that should be talked about.”