The GOP's favorite enemy: Right-wingers erupt as Bill Clinton returns to campaign trail

Bill Clinton stumps for Hillary, and the right couldn't wait to go on the attack

By Michael Garofalo
Published January 4, 2016 10:42PM (EST)
Bill Clinton (AP/Jim Cole)
Bill Clinton (AP/Jim Cole)
Bill Clinton has never been one to shy away from the limelight, but the former president spent much of 2015 behind the scenes, courting donors at closed-door fundraisers as his wife Hillary laid the groundwork for her 2016 presidential campaign. But with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary just weeks away, Bill Clinton returned to the national political stage Monday, making his first solo appearance of the campaign to stump for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.
Clinton spoke to a crowd of about 700 at Nashua Community College on Monday morning, casting his wife as the most qualified candidate to lead the nation and offering her "inclusive social policy" as an alternative to the "kind of scary" Republican field. "I think [Hillary Clinton's] is the plan that offers the best chance to have the most rapid movement to more broadly shared prosperity," he said.
Bill Clinton's return to the campaign trail gave the right wing a familiar target to lob blows at. Based on conservative comments surrounding Clinton's sexual history and allegations of abuse, voters could be forgiven for thinking they'd entered a time warp to 1998.

On his radio show Monday following Clinton's speech, Rush Limbaugh said "Trump, of course, talking about how 'Hey, you know you've got to be careful Hillary. You send [Bill Clinton] out there, you better not start playing your vagina card.' But she's playing that card, and Trump's saying 'Hey wait a minute, you're going to send him out there and you just talk about a victim, the two don't go together and I'm going to hit you on it'."

On CNN, Jeffrey Lord, political commentator, Trump supporter and former member of the Reagan administration, contrasted Hillary Clinton's support of campus rape victims with her husband's history. "Juanita Broaddrick is not getting the same treatment as the Cosby accusers. Why not?" he asked.
Rand Paul echoed this line of thinking, arguing that Hillary Clinton's support of women makes her husband's past fair game. “Hillary Clinton has brought this on herself, by saying women should be believed, and yet she was big on calling all of the women that accused Bill of his different advances and harassment and possibly other allegations, she was big on calling them the ‘bimbos,'" he said Monday.
After being called sexist by Hillary Clinton last week, Donald Trump fired off the shots at her husband on Twitter and CBS's "Face The Nation," claiming he has a "terrible record of women abuse" and is "one of the great abusers of the world."
Bloomberg's Mark Halperin called Trump's attacks "politically brilliant" on the Monday edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," because they reinforced his bona fides as a "real Republican."

Trump claimed on "Face The Nation" on Sunday that he's "the only one that is willing to talk about [Bill Clinton's] problems," but in reality others on the right wing have been all too ready to jump into the fray.

At a Clinton campaign event on Sunday, Republican New Hampshire state representative Katherine Prudhomme-O'Brien heckled Hillary Clinton from the crowd about allegations of sexual misconduct against her husband, prompting the candidate to respond, "You are very rude, and I'm not going to ever call on you."
For his part, Clinton has avoided invitations to engage with his attackers:

Michael Garofalo

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2016 Election Bill Clinton Clinton Sexism Hillary Clinton Rush Limbaugh