Clinton calls sexism on GOP

Clinton calls sexism on GOP
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE is playing the sexist card against Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE and the Republican Party. 

The Democratic nominee, along with top surrogates and allies, has seized on Trump’s recent comment that Clinton does not have a “presidential look,” using the comment to depict him as sexist. 

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The former secretary of State also laid into Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for his tweet that she looked “angry” during an MSNBC presidential forum. 

Clinton didn’t rule out sexism when asked if she was being treated differently in the political race because she is a woman.

“I'm going to let all of you ponder that last question,” the first female presidential nominee replied with a grin at a press conference.

“I think there will be a lot of Ph.D. theses and popular journalism writing on that subject for years to come. I don’t take my advice and I don’t take anything seriously that comes from the RNC.”

Clinton then noted that Trump talked about his “deep admiration” for Russian President Vladimir Putin at the same forum. 

“Maybe he did it with a smile and I guess the RNC wouldn’t like that,” she quipped.

Chelsea Clinton also waded into the debate on Thursday, criticizing Trump’s remarks about a “presidential look.”

“Everyone can see that as the sad, misogynistic, sexist rhetoric that I hoped we had moved beyond in the 21st century,” the former first lady's daughter said. 

This isn’t the first time accusations of sexism have bubbled up during the campaign. 

Earlier this year, Clinton fired at Trump for saying that if she were a man, “she would get 5 percent of the vote.” The billionaire criticized Clinton at the time for playing the “woman card.” 

“If fighting for women’s healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in,” she said. 

“Deal me in” is now a Clinton campaign T-shirt and standard line at Clinton events. She also used it at the Democratic National Convention in July. 

The talk of sexism comes in a campaign where Clinton has a significant edge over Trump among female voters.

A recent CNN/ORC poll shows that she bests the GOP nominee with women 53 percent to 38 percent. At the same time, men prefer Trump 54 percent to 32 percent, according to the poll.

For weeks, polls have indicated that Clinton trails Trump particularly with one demographic: white, blue-collar men.

The Clinton campaign has felt confident that it can win the White House even if it doesn't lure a majority of those men to their side thanks to their support from women, but some Republicans believe the calls of sexism signal vulnerability.

“They're pretty quick to yell sexism in a crowded theater ... but constantly playing the victim card is not something you do from a position of strength,” said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak. 

Mackowiak said playing up gender is a “risk that can backfire” especially because “the first to make inroads with the other [demographic] will win.”

Still, criticizing Trump as sexist could play well with women, particularly baby boomers who have had to deal with glass ceilings for much of their lives, observers say.

“I think she and her surrogates and other informed parties might definitely be able to put their finger on narratives coming out of the Trump campaign or the media in general that could be labeled sexist,” said Katherine Jellison, a professor of history at Ohio University.

Jellison acknowledged the strategy could backfire with blue-collar men, adding that millennial women also “might have some difficulty relating to the versions of sexism that Hillary Clinton or her campaign might call out.”

Earlier this year, comments made by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright backfired after she and Gloria Steinem urged young women to get behind Clinton and not her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden MORE (I-Vt.).

But Clinton surrogates say labeling Trump as sexist is a no-brainer.

“He’s given voters ample material to make that decision and without question the man is a raging sexist,” said Tracy Sefl, a Clinton surrogate who served as a senior adviser to super PAC Ready for Hillary. “She’s letting people make that choice and people have made it.” 

Ellen Tauscher, the former congresswoman who served as the undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, agreed.  

“Priebus and Trump are the founders of the He-Man Woman Haters Club from the 'Little Rascals' movie,” Tauscher said. “No wonder why women have abandoned the RNC and Trump.”

“It’s like they are so hapless and feckless in their sexist bias on Hillary they don’t see how women identify with her and reject Trump,” she added. “Republicans can't help themselves.”