Everyone but Donald Trump and his most ardent supporters recognize that Donald Trump lost Monday night’s debate. And because of the candidate’s stubborn disbelief in his ability to do anything but win, Trump lost the post-debate period too.
Now he’s doubling down.
Despite warnings from fellow Republicans against insulting a beauty queen he disparaged for gaining weight and launching an attack on Hillary Clinton for her husband’s well-known infidelities, Trump is now directing his surrogates to do just that.
“Mr. Trump has never treated women the way Hillary Clinton and her husband did when they worked to destroy Bill Clinton’s accusers,” reads one of the talking points the campaign sent to surrogates on Thursday as the controversy surrounding the story of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado continued to dominate headlines of the race.
In another excruciating exchange on MSNBC, the Libertarian nominee was unable to name a single foreign leader he respects, failing to recall the name of former Mexican President Vicente Fox just as he previously drew a blank on the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Pressed by “Hardball” host Chris Matthews to “name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to,” Johnson stumbled.
“I guess I’m having an Aleppo moment in the former president of Mexico,” Johnson said.
“Well which one?” Matthews angrily insisted.
“I’m having a brain freeze,” the Libertarian nominee replied.
Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s dismissive statement that her boss has made just “a couple of comments” in the last “25 years or so with respect to women,” prompted a feisty exchange with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, who argued that Trump’s history of derogatory remarks about women goes much deeper.
In an interview Wednesday night on “The Kelly File,” Conway complained that Hillary Clinton has campaigned too hard on Trump’s history with women and not enough on her own vision for America. Paraphrasing the GOP candidate’s feelings after opting not to bring up Bill Clinton’s history of marital infidelities, Conway said Trump’s stance was that “it’s not nice that you’re running hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads against me, and he has a point.”
Kelly scoffed at the line, suggesting to Trump’s campaign manager that there is no expectation of niceness in presidential advertising, to which Conway replied “but the ads should be true.” The Fox News anchor responded that Clinton’s ads use Trump’s own words.
Later, the two returned to the issue of Trump’s checkered history of remarks about women. Kelly, who herself was a target of Trump’s early in the GOP primary, challenged Conway’s assertion that Clinton had cherry-picked a handful of Trump’s remarks to characterize him as disrespectful towards women.
Fox News’s vice president of public-opinion research sent a memo to staff Wednesday reminding employees that unscientific online polls, which were cited in several segments to suggest that Donald Trump won Monday night’s presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, do not meet the network’s editorial standards.
“As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate,” Dana Blanton, Fox News’s vice president of public-opinion research, wrote in the memo to the channel’s politics team, which was obtained by Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy. “Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results,” she wrote. “These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards.”