Republican frontrunner Donald Trump found himself accused of sexism again yesterday after he coined a vulgar new term of abuse while attacking rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s off-colour comments about the Democratic front-runner at a campaign appearance on Monday night came a day after he called Clinton a liar for saying his proposal to ban entry of all foreign Muslims to the United States aided the Islamic State’s propaganda efforts.
Whipping up a raucous crowd of supporters in Michigan, Trump’s scorn for his democratic rival took a sexually graphic and personal turn.
Recalling the 2008 presidential race, in which Hillary lost out to Barack Obama in the battle for the Democratic nomination, Trump appeared to reach for a Yiddish term.
“She was favoured to win and she got schlonged. She lost, I mean she lost,” he said, apparently turning the noun “schlong” – referring to male genitalia– into a verb meaning “to beat”.
Then, with the partisan crowd cheering him on, he turned to an incident on Saturday when Clinton returned late to a televised debate after a bathroom break.
“I thought she gave up,” Trump said. “Where did she go? Where did Hillary go? They had to start the debate without her. Phase II. I know where she went. It’s disgusting. I don’t want to talk about it.”
News reports after the debate said the women’s bathroom was farther from the stage than the men’s room.
This was not the first time during the campaign that the thrice-married billionaire real estate mogul has expressed distaste for women’s bodily functions.
In August, Trump triggered outrage when he insinuated that Fox News host Megyn Kelly had subjected him to sharp questioning because she may have been menstruating.
Trump’s personal attacks on women also extended to his rival for the Republican nomination, Carly Fiorina, of whom he declared: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?”
Trump, 69, said last month that Clinton, 68, did not have strength or stamina to be president, and also has called her the worst US secretary of state during her time in the post from 2009-2013.
He has frequently mocked his rivals for the Republican nomination for their lower standing in the polls, often focusing on Jeb Bush, who he describes as “low energy”.
His latest outburst against Clinton drew predictable anger.
Liberal site Think Progress dubbed it an “astonishingly sexist attack” and Slate magazine called it “jaw-dropping” sexism.
Clinton’s team urged supporters to make their voices heard and to denounce Trump and his belittling remarks.
“We are not responding to Trump but everyone who understands the humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should,” campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri said on Twitter.
Trump, a reality television star turned White House candidate, has ridden out all the fury directed his way after previous outbursts.
His appearance on Monday night was interrupted by hecklers who were ejected from the event.
The real estate tycoon suggested the protesters might be “drugged out” and chided another group for being “so weak” they would not resist security guards’ directions to leave.
Polls show the 69-year-old New Yorker remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
Trump’s speeches are often unscripted, and his supporters applaud him for what they see as his authenticity and disdain for political correctness.
A new survey, however, shows that those voters who have not been won over are turned off by his bombast and belligerence.
Fifty per cent of registered US voters said in a Quinnipiac poll yesterday that they would be “embarrassed” to have Trump as president, compared to 23% who said they would be proud.
If Clinton were elected, 33% would be proud and 35% would be embarrassed.
Quinnipiac has Trump leading the Republican field with 28% support, followed by Senator Ted Cruz at 24% and Senator Marco Rubio at 12%.
Clinton tops the Democratic race with 61% support, twice the score of independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who trails on 30%.
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