Trump’s Pettiness

It not a new revelation that Donald J. Trump can be a petty individual, but here is the latest example via NPR:  In Post-Debate Interview, Trump Again Criticizes Pageant-Winner’s Weight

At the end of Monday night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump of taunting one of his former Miss Universe contestants about her weight.

Clinton said the Republican nominee’s criticisms of Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan who won the Miss Universe contest in 1996, was “one of the worst things he said” about women. “He called this woman Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping because she was Latina.”

While Trump appeared to dispute Clinton’s accusation on the debate stage, he called into Fox and Friends Tuesday morning and once again called Machado fat.

“I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person,” Trump told the Fox News morning show. “And she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst, she was impossible,” he said. “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude.”

I know I should not be surprised, but it is still amazing his inability to let go of a relatively small attack to the degree that he keeps the attack alive and amplifies it.  He ought to have a way to deflect the point and move on, instead he doubles-down on his misogyny.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. michael reynolds says:

    He’s a pig. He’s always been a pig, he will always be a pig.

  2. Liberal Capitalist says:

    “… instead he doubles-down on his misogyny.”

    Steven, you know, it’s only because… well, he’s a dick.

    Nature or nurture, he’s a dick, through and through.

    He has learned that using a superior financial position allows him to be a dick, and to do dickish thing to get his way.

    In business, he has found that many are impressed by his dickishness, so he has gotten a following from dickish books and dickish TV shows. He is proud of his dckish way of dumping wives.

    Face it: Dickishness is his calling card and claim to fame.

    Why should we expect different, since the GOP primary voters chose this dickishness to be their primary battleflag for dealing with several years of economic prosperity.

    If you can’t win on facts, then being a complete dick is all there is left.

  3. Gavrilo says:

    Misogyny? I wonder if going on TV, wagging your finger, and trying to destroy the reputation of a young woman you had a sexual relationship with counts as misogyny? I wonder if sending your minions out to tell the press that she’s a “stalker” counts as misogyny? I wonder if calling her a “narcissistic looney toon” counts as misogyny?

  4. bk says:

    @Gavrilo: Bill Clinton isn’t on the ballot.

  5. Gustopher says:

    If only the Social Justice Warriors would stop attacking him, we would all see that Donald Trump is just a lovable teddy bear with a bad comb-over.

  6. Gavrilo says:


    Hillary is the one who called her a narcissistic looney toon, dumbass.

  7. @Gavrilo: If you are truly concerned about adultery, then I assume that you are not voting for Trump.

    My guess, however, is that really you care not one whit about such issues and really are just launching whatever attack you can muster to deflect the obvious misogyny demonstrate here (and elsewhere) by the candidate you support.

    I by no means defend Bill Clinton’s actions in this arena, nor HRC’s for that matter, but the suggestion that what HRC did in the past is equivalent to what is inherent to Trump’s character is laughable (to put it kindly).

  8. An Interested Party says:

    …the suggestion that what HRC did in the past is equivalent to what is inherent to Trump’s character is laughable (to put it kindly).

    Hey, that’s from this blog’s alleged tycoon, so such nonsense is to be expected…actually, this reminds me of how Trump has been defended by Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani for showing “restraint” in not bringing up Bill Clinton’s indiscretions last night…right, three serial adulterers commenting on Bill Clinton…I guess next we’ll here from Dick Cheney on the evils of torture…

  9. Paul L. says:

    Beauty queen shamed into losing weight for violating her contract with the Pageant.
    This sort of thing should not happen in 2016.

  10. @Paul L.: Methinks you are missing the point. Whether willfully so, I cannot say.

  11. (But I have a guess)

  12. @An Interested Party:

    Hey, that’s from this blog’s alleged tycoon

    I thought that was Guaneri. I do conflate the two of them sometimes, however.

  13. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Gavrilo: Hillary Clinton had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky? That IS news!

  14. Dazedandconfused says:

    A preview of President Trump’s state of the union address….

  15. MikeSJ says:

    Is Trump a pig? A dick? Yes, certainly.

    But there’s something going with the guy that goes far beyond being a dickish pig.

    I don’t know if it’s a physical illness like an untreated STD or drug use (sniff) or a mental health issue but there’s something obviously wrong with the guy.

    The fact that he’s a contender at this point is frightening.

  16. Jenos The Penitent says:

    And shame on CNN, too, for (if you’ll pardon the expression) “weighing in” on the matter at the time, too.

  17. Jenos The Deplorable says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: If you are truly concerned about adultery, then I assume that you are not voting for Trump.

    It is enlightening to compare how Donald Trump’s exes (wives and paramours) speak about him today, vs. how Bill Clinton’s former paramours speak of him.

    The Clintons have a very lengthy history of punishing women who dally with Bill. Trump is on good terms with most of his exes.

    And it is relevant — Hillary was the main force in going after the women.

    (And yes, I am using two different titles. When I wish to express my newfound beliefs, I self-identify as “the Penitent.” When I relapse into my old ways, I am “the Deplorable.” I do not believe this comes even close to the site’s rules against “sock-puppeting,” as I keep the name “Jenos” in both cases, but if Our Gracious Hosts object, I will settle on one or the other.)

  18. @Dazedandconfused: But without the Beethoven.

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Jenos The Absent works for me…

  20. Liberal capitalist says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    I have a question for Jenos the Penitent:

    Where in those commandments does it say it’s OK to bare some false witness because that’s just business?

    Or that it’s OK to do adultery if the ex wives are amicable after large payouts?

  21. David M says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    It is worth noting how women who know Trump speak about him.

    Seems slightly more concerning when it’s the actual candidate.

  22. DK says:

    So Cokehead Trump, who is the fattest, least healthy candidate in decades, is upset Hillary attacked him for calling a Latina model “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Houskeeping.” So Trump and his adultering, sexually harassing advisors Ailes, Giuliani, and Gingrich want to have a referendum on marriage politics? LOL Hillary honored her “for better or for worse” marriage vows. Cokehead Trump cheated on two wives, one of whom accused him under oath of raping and beating her, had a child out of wedlock while married, then married a soft porn mail order bride.

    Like many if not most Americans, I’ve been cheated on by a significant other. Trump thinks I’m gonna be more shocked that Hillary called homewreckers “bimbos” and “loony” than by his sordid adultery?

    Please proceed ROFLMAO

  23. Jen says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    It is enlightening to compare how Donald Trump’s exes (wives and paramours) speak about him today,

    Not really, no. Non-disparagement clauses are likely part of his divorce settlements, and he makes it really clear that he’ll go after anyone who speaks ill of him.

    On the broader issue of pettiness, this is something that really, really does concern me about Trump. He CANNOT seem to let these minor slights go. It’s baffling that someone who has been in the public eye for as long as he has would have such incredibly thin skin. He knows that this gets about 1000 times worse once someone is elected, right? That newspapers around the world, not to mention comedians, movies, books–all will lampoon him, right? And that the first amendment will protect them, so he cannot do anything about it?

    It’s not hard to imagine a Trump so distracted by a political cartoon in the WaPo that he cannot make an executive decision. He has the attention span of a toddler with a sugar high and skin as tough as an overripe tomato.

  24. Paul L. says:


    Cokehead Trump

    Yet progressives get outraged when Obama was called a Cokehead.

  25. slimslowslider says:

    @Paul L.:

    I didn’t.

  26. al-Alameda says:

    @Paul L.:

    Yet progressives get outraged when Obama was called a Cokehead.

    And non-progressives were outraged when Bush was called a cokehead … usw

  27. bookdragon says:

    @MikeSJ: I’ve been wondering about his health ever since he and his surrogates started the weird speculation about HRC’s.

    A lot of Trump’s attacks seem to come down to projection and/or trying to preemptively create a a BSDI for the media to go to. For instance, he began attacking the Clinton Foundation just ahead of a damning story about his own Foundation. So, was the concerted effort to make it sound like HRC had some debilitating illness because there’s news that may come out about his health?

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Jenos The Deplorable:

    It is enlightening to compare how Donald Trump’s exes (wives and paramours) speak about him today,

    But you have to take into account that everyone who deals with Trump has signed agreements never to disparage him in public. In addition to ex wives and girl friends this includes everyone that has signed any kind of agreement with him, including campaign volunteers.

  29. KM says:

    From NPR:

    The Clinton campaign’s video also includes archived footage of Trump telling reporters “she weighed 118 pounds, or 117 pounds, and she went up to 160 or 170. So this is somebody who likes to eat.”

    Let’s try be scientific about this, shall we?

    She’s listed as 5’7”. In her 20’s, 160lbs put her at the edge of the normal weight range of the BMI. I know, I know, it’s inaccurate but it’s a familiar enough tool for everyone to use as a baseline. 118 is listed as underweight. So totally excluding the inherent misogyny of it all, Trump’s assertion is that going from underweight to the upper levels of normal makes them fat? She’s not even officially fat – she’d need to hit 190+ to be labeled obese. Add in that we don’t know even know if these are really the numbers of him just being a dick, he’s proven he’s wrong on a basic level.

    Perhaps he’s speaking to the “suddenness” of the weight gain or her comment on “eat, eat, eat.” As one can easily speculate, reaching 118 requires a rather strict diet made worse by the pressures of being thin for the contest. As most athletes speak of the food they plan to devour post-win, it’s clear that when the regime can be relaxed and a need for what they’ve been denied arises. “Eat, Eat, Eat” is the mantra of the Olympian craving a Big Mac, a victory reward. Trump blows it up to mean “ravenous gluttony” when it was most likely “I can have carbs again!!!” So, BS again. Not Miss Piggy but Miss Can-Now-Eat-the-Bun-Without-Guilt.

    Trump was pissed he didn’t get a heroin-thin beauty to perv on in 1996 and is still pissed 20 years later. Huffpo got an article with a gif that shows how Miss America’s changed over the years. When the chronically thin women start edging up towards what the rest of the female population looks like, they get Miss Piggy comments. What do the rest of us ladies get then if that’s what the beauty queen rates?

  30. Dazedandconfused says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    His flagging energy towards the end is likely the result of the crowd being subdued. A man whose interest drops off when he is not being actively praised. In his speeches he pokes around until he gets cheers, and with those, his love is fulfilled.

    “The bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral.”

  31. Grumpy Realist says:

    @KM: it’s also REALLY EASY to balloon up if you break a bone in your foot and your exercise habits go to hell….

  32. rachel says:

    @Paul L.:

    Yet progressives get outraged when Obama was called a Cokehead.

    Naw, my reaction was more like, ‘Pfft. Who do these morons think they’re fooling?”

  33. Richard Ong says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Dislike of one woman does not make one a misogynist. Trump gives women responsibility in his business and political dealings. His spokesman is a woman. By your logic he loves women.

  34. Richard Ong says:

    @Paul L.: The horror! This man should never be allowed access to our nuclear codes.

  35. @Richard Ong:

    You may have picked the worst day of all time to try and defend Trump in regards to how he treats women.

  36. Richard Ong says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Not really.

    See this: If you think Donald Trump’s comments are vulgar, check out Hillary’s potty mouth. It’s quite instructive on how she treats men. Or are we allowed to notice?

    This is the woman who stole White House furniture and had to return it? Who lied about her emails? Who’s taken $21M in pay-to-play “speaking fees” for speeches that have yet to see the light of day? Who took in almost $100K from corrupt manipulation of brokerage accounts relating to cattle future contracts and then lied about how she made her trades from reading the WSJ? Yes, I’m on tenterhooks to know what moral instruction Hillary Clinton has to provide us on how Donald Trump said something coarse 11 years ago and is now being ambushed in a sleezy attempt to divert attention from Clinton’s character and health.

  37. @Richard Ong: Vulgarity is not the issue.