Eric Trump Shares the Comment His Dad Didn't Use During the Debate

September 28th 2016

Laura Donovan

Eric Trump boasted on Tuesday that his father, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, took the "high ground" by choosing not to talk about former President Bill Clinton's infidelity during Monday's presidential debate. Eric said his dad refrained from that line of attack, because Chelsea Clinton was present.

“I mean, [my father] very well could’ve looked down — and he said it when he came off the debate stage, ‘I wasn’t gonna respond to that question because I saw Chelsea in the front row and I just wasn’t gonna go there out of respect for her,’” Eric said in a recent interview with Simon Conway of 1040 WHO Iowa radio.

Eric said he was happy that his father "took the high ground" when he "had the opportunity to go very, very low."

"I mean, there are a lot of people who came up to me, including many in the media, who said listen, he could’ve just crushed her on that last question. And he would’ve probably hurt a family if he did," Eric continued. "I don’t know, I think that took a lot of courage in so many regards, and I think he really answered that well and took the high ground and kept the high road.”


But praising Trump for "restraint" misses the point entirely: Bill's infidelities don't have weight on whether Hillary will be a good leader.

Hillary is not responsible for her husband's behavior in their marriage, and such behavior is not relevant to the current presidential campaign, so Eric's argument that his dad deserves credit for showing some restraint has no weight. (Bringing Chelsea into this discussion is similarly unfair.)

Others have decried Eric's comments about Hillary and Chelsea on social media:

Donald Trump confirmed in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash that he didn't talk about the Clintons' marriage out of respect for their daughter:

"I'm really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton. Maybe I'll tell you [what I would have said] at the next debate. We'll see. But I'm very happy."

Chelsea, for her part, told Cosmopolitan.com that Trump's comments about her family are a distraction from talking about what really matters in this election:

"Well, my reaction to that is just what my reaction has been kind of every time Trump has gone after my mom or my family, which is that it’s a distraction from his inability to talk about what’s actually at stake in this election and to offer concrete, comprehensive proposals about the economy, or our public school system, or debt-free college, or keeping our country safe and Americans safe here at home and around the world."

In December, Trump told TODAY that Bill's infidelity would be "fair game" for him to bring up if the Clinton family accused him of being awful to women.

"There was certainly a lot of abuse of women,'' Trump said of Bill Clinton's time in office. "You look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them. That certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman's card with respect to me, that will be fair game."

In 1999, he told The New York Times that he didn't disapprove of Bill having an affair in office. However, Trump disagreed with Bill's decision to have an affair with Monica Lewinsky in particular.

“It was Monica!" Trump said at the time. "I mean, terrible choice."

In a separate 1999 interview with The Times, Trump said, ''[Bill] handled the Monica situation disgracefully. It's sad because he would go down as a great President if he had not had this scandal. People would have been more forgiving if he'd had an affair with a really beautiful woman of sophistication. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were on a different level. Now Clinton can't get into golf clubs in Westchester. A former President begging to get in a golf club. It's unthinkable.''

[H/T BuzzFeed]