Politics

Donald Trump Issues Response for Gross Remarks to Billy Bush

A grotesque 2005 conversation between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Billy Bush surfaced, on Thursday. The conversation included various degrading remarks about women's bodies. For example:

"I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything .... Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything."

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It prompted an apology in which Trump seemed to excuse his remarks by claiming that former President Bill Clinton has said more offensive things while golfing.

Trump apology

Attempting to tie anything Bill Clinton has or has not said to this incident is inarguably irrelevant. But this hasn't stopped Trump or his surrogates from threatening to make Bill Clinton's indiscretions a campaign issue in recent weeks.

Trump's references to Clinton's comments and infidelities are not the only times he has attacked male politicians for sexual indiscretions.

Also in 2013, Trump tweeted about former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Gov. of New York Eliot Spitzer's respective sex scandals. Weiner's 2013 New York City mayoral bid tanked after he was caught sexting women online — the same indiscretion that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011 — while Spitzer resigned after he was linked to a prostitution ring.

Trump excusing his own behavior while condemning that of other politicians is only part of the problem.

His attacks on Bill Clinton are an obvious and unfair attempt to smear his Democratic rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton — essentially blaming a woman for having been cheated on her husband. This is also politically unwise, as Hillary Clinton's popularity spiked during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, as Vox points out.

Trump is polling quite poorly with suburban white women — who traditionally vote Republican — and needs this portion of the electorate to win the election, so these statements could hurt him with this voting block.