Trump’s mention of ‘woman’s card’ draws backlash

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Trump's highly anticipated foreign policy speech Wednesday will test whether the Republican presidential front-runner, known for his raucous rallies and eyebrow-raising statements, can present a more presidential persona as he works to unite the GOP establishment behind him. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton is playing “the woman’s card” has drawn intense backlash, from the Democratic front-runner herself as well as tens of thousands of critics on social media.

“If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the ‘woman card,’ then deal me in,” Clinton said in Philadelphia as she celebrated wins in four out of five of Tuesday’s Democratic primaries.

Trump had leveled the “woman’s card” accusation Tuesday after his own five-state primary sweep.

“She’s playing that card like I’ve never seen anyone play it before,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” Thursday. “All I’m doing is bringing out the obvious, that without the woman’s card, Hillary would not even be a viable person to even run for a city council position.”

Trump’s remarks prompted social media hashtags like #dealmein and #womancard, the latter ranking among the top 10 global trending topics on Twitter Wednesday, with more than 45,000 tweets by late afternoon.

Voters also circulated video of Mary Pat Christie, the wife of Trump backer and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who stood behind Trump during his victory speech Tuesday and looked as though she was rolling her eyes as he made those comments.

The exchange highlights Trump’s perilous standing among female voters who could help propel Clinton to the White House.

An anti-Trump super PAC, backed by Republican donors, last month launched an ad in which unnamed women read aloud quotes Trump has proffered about females. “Bimbo. Dog. Fat Pig,” the ad begins, with later references to Trump critiquing “flat-chested” women and referring to “a young and beautiful piece of a–” and a woman “dropping to your knees.”

In March, Trump distributed via social media an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz, Trump rival Ted Cruz’s wife, prompting the Texas senator to assert that “strong women scare Donald.”

Cruz, who’s aiming to topple Trump at the Republicans’ July convention in Cleveland, implicitly emphasized the front-runner’s turbulent relationships with women Wednesday as he tapped former candidate Carly Fiorina as his would-be running mate, praising her as someone who has “over and over … shattered glass ceilings.”

Four years ago, 11 out of 13 general election swing states went to the nominee who won among women. Of those 11, President Barack Obama, with 55 percent of the female vote nationally, won nine; Republican Mitt Romney won just two.

If Clinton manages an even wider advantage among women than Obama, Democrats say she may get a boost in states like Pennsylvania and Colorado, casting them out of Trump’s reach while allowing her to compete in GOP-leaning territory like Georgia and North Carolina.

As for Trump’s claim that women “don’t like” Clinton, he’s wrong at the very least about Democratic primary voters. Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks in 25 states this year show Clinton won 62 percent of female voters over Bernie Sanders’ 36 percent.

In a recent AP-GfK poll of the general population, women weren’t significantly more likely than men to have an unfavorable opinion of either Trump or Clinton. Women, however, were more likely than men to say they definitely would not vote for Trump in a general election, 66 percent to 60 percent. About half of men and women said they would definitely not vote for Clinton.

Among Republicans only, primary exit polls have shown Trump facing a gender gap his last remaining rivals do not have. In the 25 states polled, Trump won 36 percent women and 44 percent of men. Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich both demonstrated consistent support across genders.

___

Associated Press News Survey Specialist Emily Swanson and AP writer Laurie Kellman contributed to this report from Washington.

___

Follow Bill Barrow on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s