A few days after the release of a videotape from 2005 that showed Donald Trump bragging about his ability to sexually assault women without suffering any consequences, the Republican presidential nominee revealed what he will do to win back women voters offended by his crude language: Nothing.
In an interview on Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly pushed Trump to explain his strategy going forward after the tape, mainly excess footage from a celebrity news show, rocked the campaign.
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“Have you assessed how you’re going to win back women who were offended by the recent exposition from Access Hollywood?” O'Reilly asked. “Have you a plan to get those women back?”
“Well, first of all, locker room talk -- and most people have heard it before,” said Trump, falling back on an imaginary “locker room” exemption that he seems to think excuses his boasts about kissing women without their permission and grabbing them by their genitals.
“I’ve had a lot of women come up to me and say, ‘I’ve heard that and I’ve heard a lot worse than that over my life.' And if that’s why I’m going to lose an election to get rid of ISIS and to create strong borders and to rebuild our military and do all the things we’re going to do including Supreme Court judges and saving the Second Amendment because it’s under siege with Hillary Clinton or as I call her, ‘Crooked Hillary’ which is what she is, if that’s what it’s going to take to lose an election I think that would be pretty sad.”
O’Reilly continued, asking if Trump planned to make any changes to win back women voters. Would the campaign take out any targeted advertisements, for example?
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“We have a great commercial that went out today,” Trump replied.
He was, presumably, referring to a new spot entitled “Dangerous” that portrays Clinton, the first woman nominated for president by a major party in the US, as too weak to serve as president. Interspersed with footage designed to depict Clinton as sick and frail, the ad claims the Democratic nominee lacks the “fortitude, strength, or stamina to lead in our world.” Not exactly an olive branch to women in general.
O’Reilly continued, “Women are the key to this. You’re winning with men and I think you will continue to win with men. But...you’re behind with women. Are you going to target -- “
“I’m not sure I believe it,” Trump interrupted.
A visibly frustrated O’Reilly said, “Whether you believe it or not, that’s what the polling says. Do you have any plan to speak to women directly or to target them with ads or anything like that?”
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“I do, but what women want, you know, we do the childcare program that Ivanka wanted, that Ivanka wanted very, very much, that my daughter Ivanka wanted and I agreed with her 100 percent,” he said. “What women want is they want secure borders, they want safety, they want law and order they want a police department that’s allowed to do its job, they want justice for all. They want a lot of things that everybody else wants. “
So apparently, in Trump’s analysis, women want his stump speech. But, considering that he now trails Clinton by 33 percentage points with the female half of the electorate, there may be reasons to question his analytical skill.