During this campaign Donald Trump has joked about his penis size during a debate, suggested a rival’s wife is ugly, and threatened to force another opponent to confront her husband’s former mistress. But, according to Donald Trump, he showed tremendous restraint on Monday night when he opted not to attack Hillary Clinton for her husband’s infidelities.
When Clinton attacked Trump for his remarks about women, noting that he’s called them “pigs, slobs, and dogs,” Trump suggested he should get credit for not adding to that list during the debate.
“I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family,” he said. “And I said to myself, I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate, it’s not nice. But she’s spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me.”
In case anyone was unclear on what Trump was alluding to, he explained multiple times while doing his own debate spin that the jab was about Bill Clinton’s infidelities.
First, the candidate (whose first marriage ended due to an affair with the woman who became his second wife) told CNN’s Dana Bash, “I’m really happy I was able to hold back on the indiscretions in respect to Bill Clinton. Because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton.” When Bash asked what he would have said, he responded, “Maybe I’ll tell you at the next debate. We’ll see. But I’m very happy.”
Next, Trump told Mark Halperin: “I didn’t want to do my final attack, which was to attack her husband on what took place with respect to him and his life and all of the things that took place because Chelsea, who I happen to think is a wonderful young lady, was in the room and I just didn’t think it would be appropriate.”
Finally, Trump told Sean Hannity: “I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life, so I decided not to say it. I thought it would be very disrespectful to Chelsea and maybe to the family.”
But of course, Trump’s not one to toot his own horn … exclusively. Trump was also praised by a number of campaign surrogates for heroically refraining from reminding America that Hillary’s husband cheated on her. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said she thought Trump “showed great restraint … particularly at the end, when he literally could have gone there and made very clear that he came ready to say some rough things if she was going to challenge him about his abuse – about his record on women.”
Rudy Giuliani (who cheated on his second wife with his future third wife) spelled out what Trump was too much of a gentleman to say.
But no one was more impressed than Newt Gingrich (who cheated on his first and second wives, and left both while they were ill). Gingrich told Hannity that after what Clinton had said about Trump (literally just quoting him) and “knowing his temper, he must have been very tempted, and it took a lot of self-control.” In fact, Gingrich said:
That might have been the best single moment of the entire debate. Hillary was mean, nasty, personal, knew it was a cheap shot, knew it was coming at the end of the debate, deliberately tried to crowd him. He had a perfect moment there to clobber her and he looked over at Chelsea and thought, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ That may have been the best moment of the whole debate because it showed that unlike Hillary Clinton, for whom nothing is too mean or too despicable, he actually was willing to set a standard of being decent and I’m very proud of him.
Seriously, what more could Americans want in a president than a guy who can refrain from making a nasty, personal jab for 15 whole minutes?