Bill Clinton Brushes Off Donald Trump, Saying 'Attempts to Take the Election' Are Nothing New

"There's always attempts to take the election away from the people," he said.

ByABC News
January 4, 2016, 1:33 PM

— NASHUA, N.H. -- Former president Bill Clinton took the high road this morning in his first public reaction to Donald Trump since the GOP front-runner began attacking him as a "sexist.”

Asked by ABC News whether his sexual history was “fair game” in the campaign, Clinton said “the Republicans have to decide who they want to nominate. I'm trying to tell the Democrats and the country why I think Hillary would be the best president.”

“I think there's always attempts to take the election away from the people,” he continued.

He declined to elaborate on any of Trump’s claims.

Clinton spoke to just over 700 supporters at Nashua Community College as he hit the campaign trail for the first time in 2016, touting Hillary Clinton as the only candidate who could restore America to prosperity.

Hillary Clinton, who held three town halls in New Hampshire Sunday, has put the brakes her usual Trump attacks since the New York real estate mogul began highlighting Bill Clinton’s sexual liaisons in the White House.

At times in 2008, President Clinton was called “a liability” to his wife’s campaign, veering off-message to attack Barack Obama. He kept his temper in check today, but offered some lines that could be construed as needling Trump’s anti-immigration policies.

Bill Clinton said the next president must “preserve our individual liberties, and our reputation for being an open country,” pointing to the story of a Muslim immigrant who took to his prayer mat after he narrowly avoided armed robbery, praying his family could join him in America.

“That guy is more representative of most Muslims in America than what happened in San Bernardino,” the former president said to applause.

He also dismissed the notion, held by some Trump supporters, that the business mogul might abandon his more outlandish plans once elected.

“It’s kind of scary this year,” he warned, “but believe it or not, most everybody actually tries to do what they say they're going to do when they're running. They're telling you what they believe. And so you've got to take them seriously.”

Trump, meanwhile, was slated to speak later today in Lowell, Massachusetts, less than 30 miles from where former President Clinton held his first event.