All wasn’t peaceful and quiet over the holidays, at least not as far as Donald Trump is concerned. The Republican presidential front-runner ramped up his attacks against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and is now turning his attention to her husband, former President Bill Clinton. But the Clinton campaign is pushing back.
The former Democratic president has a “terrible record of women abuse,” Trump tweeted this morning.
If Hillary thinks she can unleash her husband, with his terrible record of women abuse, while playing the women's card on me, she's wrong!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2015
(Trump did not elaborate on exactly what abuse he was referring to).
In a statement Monday evening, Clinton campaign spokeswoman Christina Reynolds said "Hillary Clinton won't be bullied or distracted by attacks he throws at her and former President Clinton."
But, Reynolds added, "When his insults are directed at women, immigrants, Asian-Americans, Muslims, the disabled, or hard working Americans looking to raise their wages, Hillary Clinton will stand up to him, as she has from the beginning. Donald Trump's words are demeaning, his policies are just as destructive. Hillary Clinton will challenge Donald Trump and all the other Republicans who will rip away the progress we've made."
Over the weekend, Trump co-opted the words Clinton used against him during an interview with the Des Moines Register last week.
Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE'S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
Trump’s attacks come after Hillary Clinton announced her husband will hit the campaign trail for her in January.
In the Dec. 22 interview with the Des Moines Register, Clinton did not offer a direct response to Trump’s use of a vulgar Yiddish word to describe her loss to Obama in the 2008 election, but said she deplores Trump’s “inflammatory rhetoric.” (Trump has defended his use of the word as a common term in politics.)
Asked whether Trump’s comments have to do with her gender, Clinton said: “I think he has to answer for what he says, and I assume that others will make the larger point about his language. It’s not the first time he’s demonstrated a penchant for sexism.”
Trump tweeted the next day, warning the former secretary of state to “be careful!”
Hillary, when you complain about "a penchant for sexism," who are you referring to. I have great respect for women. BE CAREFUL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2015
In a phone interview Sunday with Fox News, Trump said Bill Clinton is “fair game” because his presidency was “very troubled, to put it mildly, because of all the things she’s talking to me about.”
During the interview, Trump also argued that Clinton is “playing the woman’s card.”
Representatives for Bill and Hillary Clinton did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
The only other female candidate in the 2016 race – Republican candidate Carly Fiorina – also called Bill Clinton “fair game” in an interview with Fox News this morning.
But, she cautioned, “you're not going to beat Hillary Clinton by attacking Bill Clinton,” adding, “The way to deal with the woman card is attack her track record.”
The Clinton-Trump feud appears to be escalating as the calendar turns to 2016, but it wasn’t always that way.
It was revealed that Bill Clinton and Trump spoke before Trump announced his candidacy for president in August. The former president reportedly told Trump, according to aides, that he could have a big impact in the GOP race. The Clintons were also guests at Trump’s wedding to model Melania Knauss in 2005.