Donald Trump — who famously branded his opponents “lyin’ Ted” Cruz, “low energy” Jeb Bush and “little Marco” Rubio — has been testing out a new nickname for the Democratic front-runner: “Crooked Hillary Clinton.”
“Crooked Hillary Clinton is spending a fortune on ads against me,” Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter. “I am the one person she doesn’t want to run against. Will be such fun!”
Crooked Hillary Clinton is spending a fortune on ads against me. I am the one person she doesn’t want to run against. Will be such fun!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2016
Last month, the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported that Trump told her he “would soon unleash the moniker that he thought would diminish Hillary.”
At one point, it appeared that he had settled on “Incompetent Hillary,” using the phrase several times during an interview with Sean Hannity. “I mean, she only did one thing and that was travel a lot,” Trump said in March. “The woman has been a disaster in every decision she’s had to make, especially in the Middle East.”
Trump repeatedly used monikers to turn the apparent strengths of his Republican opponents into weaknesses: by calling Cruz “lyin’ Ted,” Trump was attacking the Texas senator”s argument that conservatives could trust him; by calling Bush “low energy,” he was dismantling the former Florida governor”s reputation as a workaholic obsessed with policy while in office; by calling Rubio “little Marco,” Trump was attempting to make the Florida senator’s youthful vigor a liability.
“Crooked Hillary” is clearly a reference to the FBI probe into her emails and questions surrounding donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state.
Clinton brushed off the nickname on Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos.
“I don’t respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults about me,” she said. “I can take care of myself. I look forward to running against him if he turns out to be the Republican nominee if I am the Democratic nominee.”
She added: “I really could care less.”