Donald Trump went after Hillary Clinton over the weekend, with the Republican frontrunner doing an impression of a stilted Clinton at the podium with a teleprompter and calling her “crooked.”
Trump’s impersonation and pet-name revives some of the baiting slapstick comedy that marked earlier takedowns of “little” Marco Rubio, “low-energy” Jeb Bush, and “mess” Paul Rand.
“Crooked” Hillary adds to his list of pet-names of current rivals—”Lyin'” Ted Cruz—and the newer, admittedly more complicated “1 in 38” John Kasich.
In his impression, Trump mocks Hillary’s scripted stump speech, making reference to her teleprompter and speaking robotically.
The pet-names are part of strategic attacks in line with conventional wisdom about the weaknesses of each candidate. Those weaknesses are amplified and repeated in sound-bites at rallies and through media.
When asked about his conduct, Trump had this to say:
“Sometimes when you fight back, it doesn’t look presidential,” Trump told Fox News Channel’s Jesse Watters Saturday night. “But it gets the job done. We have to get the job done.”
Donald Trump’s continued personal attacks on his rivals comes only days after Trump’s new campaign manager Paul Manafort had to defend his statement that Trump was evolving his persona to be more policy-oriented: “The negatives will come down. The image is going to change,” he said according to CBS News.
“That’s what’s important for you to understand: That he gets it, and that the part he’s been playing is evolving,” Manafort said, suggesting that Trump is going to assume a more traditional role as a politician.
Later, Manafort backtracked, saying to Chris Wallace host on “Fox News Sunday,” “We were evolving the campaign, not the candidate.”
Wallace pushed back saying, “that seems a little bit like spin.”
Hillary Clinton has launched her own attack on the Republican frontrunner characterizing him as out of touch with the everyday American, foreshadowing a possible general election face off:
“I have said, ‘Come out of those towers named for yourself and actually talk and listen to people.’ You know, at some point, if you want to be president of the United States, you gottta get familiar with the United States. You gotta spend time with Americans of all sorts and backgrounds in every part of our country,”