Presidential Campaign

Trump’s women problem is no April Fool’s joke

The latest polls showing Donald Trump’s less-than-favorable ratings among women are, unfortunately, no April Fool’s joke.

Neither is the news this week that his campaign manager was charged with simple battery for allegedly (although video evidence highly suggests it happened) roughing up a female reporter during a press scrum.

Pile on the Republican front-runner’s insulting comments this week suggesting women ought to be punished for seeking an abortion. Although, in fairness, let’s look at the positive: Trump did try to redeem himself by clarifying his comments. But it’s even hard to give him credit for that, because he had to do it twice. Not helpful to his cause.

{mosads}It doesn’t take a high-priced political consultant to tell you the type of attack ads Democrats and the progressive left will run against Trump should his lead hold and he become the Republican standard-bearer in the fall. They’ll be all too happy to remind voters, and especially women, of The Donald’s no good, very bad week. All you have to do is look back four years to see the playbook of what happened when men gaffed on issues so fundamentally important to independent-minded women. And the results aren’t surprising.

Trump speaks highly of both his wife and daughter. Of course he would, because they’re successful and accomplished women who can more than hold their own in a room with any man. So I wonder what they think of his comments?

I ask in all seriousness because as Trump goes through his first real damage-control moment in this campaign, surprisingly he seems to be missing the perspective of strong women. It seemed completely tone-deaf that his campaign tweeted out a photo of him, in the midst of this storm, sitting at a table with his advisers without one woman in sight.

Public polling shows that anywhere between over two-thirds to nearly three-quarters of women in this country right now have a unfavorable opinion of the Republican front-runner. And that was before anything happened this week.

As a father and a husband, how would Trump feel about a man grabbing his wife or daughter the way his campaign manger grabbed Michelle Fields? A simple apology would have prevented this incident from spinning out of control, because I find it hard to believe that his campaign manager went into that room with the intention of physically assaulting anyone — much less a female member of the press — but what the video shows is at the very least unprofessional, and at worst, illegal behavior by the Republican front-runner’s staff. I find it hard to believe that Trump would be in this position if he had a woman advising him. If he did, I have no doubt Trump would have admonished his campaign manager.

These words and actions are unbecoming of the office Trump seeks. Women wouldn’t find any of this acceptable in our lives, not to mention our politics. There isn’t any amount of spin or clarifying you can do to make up these comments because after a week like this one, Trump is going to find it very difficult to even begin trying to win the hearts and minds of women.

I’ll give Trump some free advice as a Republican woman who has spent a considerable amount of time going around the country, engaging with women about issues that are keeping them up at night.

First, we like security. There are millions of security moms out there who want to be kept safe and fear what happened in San Bernardino, Calif. could happen around the corner from the local playground in their community. They don’t want their children to be at risk. Trump needs to provide a concrete plan and not just call to ban Muslims.

Second, he should take a lead from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who spoke so eloquently about his friend from law school who unsuccessfully battled opioid addiction. It brought Christie down to our levels, made him real and more personable because seemed relatable to us. Donald Trump could do the same. Our communities are being plagued by addiction — we fear it coming into our homes and hurting our children. Trump’s brother battled addiction; he should talk more about it and show some emotion. Show us how you can relate to our concerns.

Third, we all know that every Republican under the sun wants to repeal ObamaCare. But what more is he going to do to help us fight chronic disease like Alzheimer’s or cancer? Because it will be too late for ObamaCare by the time we’re working to care for our aging parents who are battling cancer, hoping that there is a cure soon before we possibly face a similar fate.

These are all issues that Republicans should be able to win on. But we’ll never be able to win if we don’t speak to women. After this past week, it will be even more difficult for Republicans — and not just Trump.

Republican candidates up and down the ballot this fall campaign to expand the majority will have to answer questions, and the professional left will no doubt make an effort to assign guilt by association.

The best thing Trump can do right now for himself and Republicans across the country is to get some women in the room.

Chamberlain is president of the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Tags Donald Trump

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

Main area bottom

Most Popular

Load more