It’s Bash Bill Clinton Day

It must be Bash Bill Clinton Day, because everyone seems to want to dredge up the past and go after Hillary for the infidelities of her husband. Donald Trump got it started.

Trump was also asked to account for a tweet on Monday in which he cited the former president’s “terrible record of women abuse,” remarking that “we could name many of them.”

“I can get you a list, and I’ll have it sent to your office in two seconds, but there was certainly a lot of abuse of women,” he volunteered. “You look at whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them, and that certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman’s card with respect to me, that will be fair game.”

Ben Carson piled on.

“I see them becoming coarser and wanting to know what certain things are that they’re hearing about on television — things that they would’ve never known about as kids before. And a certain innocence disappears from our society; I’m sorry to see that happen, and I’m sorry that it was because one of our presidents.”

— Ben Carson, asked about Bill Clinton’s treatment of women, on how children were affected by news reports of Mr. Clinton’s behavior as president.

Carly Fiorina said that it was a poor strategy for beating Hillary but was nonetheless justifiable:

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said Monday that Donald Trump is justified in publicly targeting former President Bill Clinton in connection with his wife’s campaign for the White House.

“Of course Bill Clinton is fair game,” she said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends.” “He’s a former president.”

It’s pretty clear that the Republicans aren’t going to be taking the high road in this campaign. Trump didn’t limit himself to talking about the former president’s sex life. He used the old “when did you stop beating your wife” routine to call Bill Clinton a racist.

“The [Obama campaign] said it; I didn’t say it,” Trump continued. “All I said was what they said, Savannah. That’s what they said. They called [Bill Clinton] a racist. I don’t believe he is a racist, if you want to know the truth, but they called him a racist. It was a miserable campaign. He did very poorly and you know, they’re bringing him out again. He’s being wheeled out, and we’re going to see what happens. Frankly, he did very poorly, he was not good for her and obviously, she lost to Obama and that was the end of that. But they brought him out before.”

One thing almost all Republicans enjoy is a little Clinton-bashing, so it makes sense for the candidates to try to outdo each other. Will it be a good strategy in the general election?

I kind of doubt it. A lot of voters don’t even remember the battles of the 1990’s, and those who do are not going to reward people who make us relive them.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.