One of the most memorable lines from last night’s final presidential debate was Donald Trump’s characterization of Hillary Clinton as “such a nasty woman,” continuing an endless string of abuse he has heaped upon her throughout the campaign. Like so many of his campaign positions, however, Trump’s supposed hatred for Clinton is nothing but an act, and recently unearthed footage from 2008 proves it.
In the interview with NY1 Trump absolutely gushes with praise for Clinton, calling her “a wonderful woman,” “a very smart woman,” and “a very nice person.” When asked about her legacy Trump said that “she is going to go down at a minimum as a great senator. I think she was a great wife to a great president. And I think Bill Clinton was a great president.”
Trump then goes on to praise Bill Clinton’s presidency, saying that “the economy was doing great. Look at what happened during the Clinton years. I mean we had no war, the economy was doing great, everybody was happy.”
Such tremendous praise couldn’t be further from the tone Trump has taken on the campaign trail, where Hillary Clinton has become someone with “tremendous hate in her heart” who “should be in jail” and Bill has morphed into “the worst abuser of women in U.S. political history” and, through his signing of NAFTA, the supposed source of all postindustrial evil in the country today.
The constantly insulting and sensationalist tone of the Trump campaign is already a stain on our democracy, but it seems even more deplorable when it becomes clear that all that anger is a sham. And it is not just on the Clintons but on virtually every signature policy he so viciously defends that Trump has made a complete 180° over the past few years.
In reality he is nothing but a narcissistic old bully who wanted to add the presidency to the goodie bag of “accomplishments” he feels his privilege entitles him to. And he’s realized that the best way to do so would be to mimic the loud-mouthed Republican industry of outrage that has so deluded voters over the past several years. Tragically, millions of Americans fell for his trap, but we can still stop him in his tracks by voting in November.
Watch Trump’s comments from 2008 below:
James DeVinne is a student at American University in Washington, DC majoring in International Service with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a founding member of Occupy Baltimore and interns at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.