Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Sunday defended his criticism that Hillary Clinton’s campaign success is based largely on her being a female candidate and dismissed assertions about him having a soft foreign policy.
“The only card she has is the woman card,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday.” “Even women don’t like her. If she were not a woman, she would not even be in this race.”
The billionaire businessman resumed his Clinton attack following
his sweep in five Northeast primary contests, saying Tuesday that “the only card she has is the woman’s card. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote.”
The front-running Trump also dismissed criticism that he sounded like a liberal Democrat in his foreign policy speech last week by suggesting the United States scale back in the Middle East and focus on domestic spending.
“We need to knock off ISIS and get out of there,” said Trump, who nevertheless continues to argue that overthrowing dictators has been a failed foreign policy strategy and has led to instability in the Middle East.
“Every move we’ve made in the Middle East has been wrong,” he said, arguing other countries should pay more to protect the world and that more taxpayer money must go to U.S. infrastructure.”
“We can’t have this anymore,” he said. “We are spending all of our money in the Middle East. We need to strengthen our military and pull back … In the meantime our country is becoming Third World. … I will be tougher than” Clinton.
GOP primary rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told ABC’s “This Week” that the speech “reflects a weak and naive approach to foreign policy.”
Trump also argued that his attacks on Clinton are no worse than those of her primary challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has questioned the former secretary of state’s qualifications.
While both Clinton’s and Trump’s favorability ratings among women are low, Trump’s are worse, especially among female general election voters.
However, Trump argued Sunday that his numbers will improve if and when he faces Clinton in the general election.
“Once I start on Hillary, the numbers will change,” he said. “Watch what happens with Hillary. Watch what happens with her numbers.”