During a Wednesday afternoon rally in Iowa, the Republican nominee mocked his opponent for her previous bout with pneumonia when she nearly fainted at the 9/11 memorial more than two weeks ago.
“I’ve been out from June 16, it’s been full time,” Trump said, bragging about the tough schedule known as running for president. “You see all the days off that Hillary takes. Day off. Day off. Day off,” he said while wildly gesticulating. “All those day offs [sic] and then she can’t even make it to her car. Isn’t that tough?”
Following the “medical episode,” Trump cautiously wished Clinton well, while his supporters and surrogates pushed various conspiracy theories about her “secret health issues” and Clinton “body doubles.”
The real-estate mogul had largely resisted attacking Clinton’s health, but this nakedly aggressive remark comes just days after he was roundly defeated in the first presidential debate.
During Monday evening’s showdown, Trump never expressly mentioned his opponent’s alleged medical issues but did repeatedly suggest Clinton does not have the energy to be president. “She doesn't have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina, I said she doesn’t have the stamina, and I don’t believe she does have the stamina,” Trump sputtered.
It was a fairly easy set-up for Clinton to respond with details of her extensive schedule in the State Department.
“As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee he can talk to me about stamina,” she retorted.
Underwater with female voters overall, Trump’s debate performance and commentary about Rosie O’Donnell, the weight of a former Miss Universe contestant, and Clinton’s health did nothing to improve his appeal.
According to an NBC News poll released on Wednesday, 27 percent of likely women voters said that the debate made them think worse of Trump. Conversely 30 percent of that cohort thought better of Clinton after the debate.
And if Trump begins attacking Clinton for her husband Bill’s infidelity—as he threatened following his debate trouncing—he might only dig his hole even deeper.