Hillary Clinton forcefully responded to attacks Republican front-runner Donald Trump has lobbed against on Sunday, telling CBS that Trump can do what he wants but that those kind of attacks “didn’t work before, won’t work again.”
As former President Bill Clinton made his first solo appearances on the campaign trail this month, Trump has begun to question Hillary Clinton’s commitment to women’s rights given her husband’s history with affairs and sexual misconduct.
Most notably, Trump’s campaign used an Instagram video to pair Clinton’s 1995 speech on women’s rights in Beijing with photos of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
“If he wants to engage in personal attacks from the past, that is his prerogative. You know, so be it,” Clinton said on “Face the Nation,” before arguing that while Republican focus on personal attacks, she is going to focus on issues like the minimum wage and equal pay.
“There are very clear distinctions. He can say whatever he wants about me. Let the voters judge that,” Clinton added. “But I am not going to let him or any of the other Republicans rip away the progress that we have. It has been too hard fought for. And I am going to stand up and make it clear there is a huge difference between us.”
Clinton did not directly respond to whether Bill Clinton’s sexual history is fair game in this presidential election, given the former president is not on the ballot. Many Republicans have argued they are, wile Clinton’s toughest Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders, has said he is running against Hillary Clinton, not her husband.
“It has been fair game going back to the Republicans for some years,” said the former secretary of state. “They can do it again if they want to. That can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. Didn’t work before, won’t work again.”
Clinton also used the Sunday morning interview, where she appeared live from a fire station in Chappaqua, New York, to knock Sanders on guns, something her campaign has been eager to do since President Barack Obama indicated on Thursday that he would not campaign for any candidate who does not support common-sense gun reform.
Sanders has responded to the President by saying that he would be open to changing a law he voted for that gave immunity to gun manufacturers. But Clinton said Sunday that is not enough.
“That is not what I want and that is not what the country wants and that is no what President Obama called for,” Clinton said. “I think he has been consistently refusing to say that he would vote to repeal this absolute immunity from any kind of responsibly or liability.”
Clinton also took aim at his regular justification for being more conservative on guns – that he is from Vermont, a rural state, with high gun ownership – by noting that Sen. Patrick Leahy, the other senator from Vermont, voted against Sanders on the 2005 vote to give gun manufacturers protection.
“I think the excuses and efforts by Sen. Sanders to avoid responsibility for this vote … points up a clear difference and is a difference Democrats voters in our primary can take into account, who is going to really stand up to the gun lobby,” Clintonsaid. “I am pretty clear what I will do and I support and will work hard to implement what the President has been advocating.”