Between Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech and Senator Ted Cruz announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate Wednesday was a crazy day in American politics. But even with all of that going on ABC and NBC spent precious time during their evening news programs defending Hillary Clinton from Trump’s comments about her playing the “woman card.” “You don't have to be a Hillary Clinton supporter to think there's a sexist undertone to what he's saying,” said Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus on NBC’s Nightly News.
ABC reporter Tom Llamas touted how many women view the GOP front-runner unfavorably on World News Tonight, noting that the rating was at 69 percent. Llamas also played up the recent knocks on Trump from Amal Clooney where she said, “If at the end of all of this, he gets beaten by the person who becomes the first female president of the United States, then I think that would send a very positive message.” Amal Clooney is the wife Clinton mega-fundraiser George Clooney.
“The Democrats are convinced those comments will come back to haunt Trump. And right now, Hillary Clinton is fund-raising off Trump's comments, calling the rhetoric dangerous, unpredictable and that he's creating a volatile atmosphere in the race for president,” stated Llamas closing out his report. World News Tonight host David Muir spoke for the Clinton campaign saying, “tonight, he's standing by it and it would seem Clinton's team is signaling, “go ahead and say it.”
On NBC Hillary super-fan Andrea Mitchell described the conflict between the two front runners as “a gender war that could decide the election if they are the nominees.” Mitchell then touted Clinton’s 21 point lead over Trump with women voters. During her report Mitchell played Marcus’ comment that she hears a sexist dog whistle coming from Trump, “You don't have to be a Hillary Clinton supporter to think there's a sexist undertone to what he's saying.”
The Spanish networks Univision and Telemundo both labeled the back and forth as the candidates pivoting to the general election.
World News Tonight with David Muir
April 27, 2016
6:31:19 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: Good evening. And it's great to have you with us here on a Wednesday night. And just as voters across this country begin to acknowledge it could be Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton this November, one candidate with what's being called a Hail Mary tonight. What Ted Cruz has done, just as Donald Trump stands by what he said about Hillary Clinton, that, quote, “women don't like her.” Hillary Clinton signaling, bring it on after getting much closer to clinching the nomination overnight. And this evening, rare words from Amal Clooney, after all this talk about women this election. ABC's Tom Llamas on the campaign trail again tonight.
[Cuts to video]
6:31:52 PM Foreign Policy [32 Seconds]
TOM LLAMAS: Tonight, Donald Trump laying out a fierce vision for America's role in the world.
DONALD TRUMP: I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary. And will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital "V."
LLAMAS: In a rare move, Trump's team even setting up a teleprompter. But today, it's not Trump's world view shaking up the race. It's his view of Hillary Clinton.
6:32:24 PM Hillary Comments and Christie Wife
TRUMP: Well, I think the only card she has is the woman's card. She's got nothing else going. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5 percent of the vote.
LLAMAS: Standing behind Trump, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and his wife, Mary Pat. Look at her reaction as Trump attacks Clinton.
TRUMP: The only thing she's got going is the womans card. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, okay? And look how well I did with women tonight. Okay. [Highlight on Mary Pat Christie]
LLAMAS: Critics swiftly blasting Trump's comments as sexist. On GMA, the GOP front-runner defending himself.
TRUMP: It's not sexist, it's true. It's just a very, very true statement. If she were a man, she'd get 5 percent.
LLAMAS: Hillary Clinton quickly turning the tables.
HILLARY CLINTON: Mr. Trump accused me of playing, the, quote, woman card. Well, if fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in.
LLAMAS: But Trump saying Clinton needs to turn down the volume.
TRUMP: Well, I haven't quite recovered, it's early in the morning, from her shouting that message. And I know a lot of people would say that you can't say that about a woman.
LLAMAS: Polls show 69 percent of female voters have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. Clinton supporters like Amal Clooney predicting his comments on women will be his downfall.
AMAL CLOONEY: If at the end of all of this, he gets beaten by the person who becomes the first female president of the United States, then I think that would send a very positive message.
[Cuts back to live]
MUIR: And Tom llamas with us live from Washington tonight. And Tom, we heard Trump say if Clinton was a man, she would have 5 percent of the vote. Tonight, he's standing by it and it would seem Clinton's team is signaling, “go ahead and say it.”
LLAMAS: David, the Democrats are convinced those comments will come back to haunt Trump. And right now, Hillary Clinton is fund-raising off Trump's comments, calling the rhetoric dangerous, unpredictable and that he's creating a volatile atmosphere in the race for president. David.
NBC Nightly News
April 27, 2016
HOLT: Peter, there is high drama as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump engage in a new war of words over women, sparring over trump's accusation that she is playing the so-called woman card. A likely preview of the intense battle to come in a general election matchup. There's late word Bernie Sanders is laying off hundreds of staffers. NBC's Andrea Mitchell has those details for us.
ANDREA MITCHELL; Hillary Clinton firing back after Donald Trump accused her of playing the woman card.
CLINTON: If fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!
MITCHELL: Trump not holding back.
TRUMP: I call her crooked Hillary.
MITCHELL: It was this new line that got the attention of many. Seemingly including trump supporter, Chris Christie's wife Mary pat.
TRUMP: If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5% of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the woman card, and the beautiful thing is, women don't like her. Okay?
MITCHELL: Their war of words has been building.
TRUMP: She doesn't have the strength and she doesn't have the energy to be president.
CLINTON: Come out of those towers and actually talk and listen to people.
MITCHELL: And it's a gender war that could decide the election if they are the nominees. The latest NBC news survey poll shows Clinton with a whopping 21-point lead among women. He has a smaller lead, 8 points among men. The Clinton campaign seized his latest attacks as a way to mobilize women voters, even fund raising on it today. But early this morning trump was at it again.
TRUMP:Her shouting that message, and I know a lot of people would say you can't say that about a woman because, of course, a woman doesn't shout. But the way she shouted that message was uh, not ooh!
RUTH MARCUS, WASHINGTON POST: You don't have to be a Hillary Clinton supporter to think there's a sexist undertone to what he's saying.
MITCHELL: Before Clinton faces off with the Republican, there is still Sanders staying in the race with a scaled-back staff until the last primary, to get as many delegates as possible so he can fight for his issues at the convention. Lester?
HOLT: Andrea Mitchell, thank you.