Hillary Clinton savaged rival Donald Trump for his weeklong spat with a former beauty pageant contestant, telling an audience in Coral Springs, Florida, that his early-morning rant on Twitter should worry voters.
Trump blasted off a series of tweets about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, suggesting she had a sex tape and became a citizen only with Clinton’s help. He also called Machado “disgusting” in a series of online messages sent at 3:20 a.m., 5:14 a.m., 5:19 a.m., and 5:30 a.m. The bizarre detour from the presidential campaign toward a beauty queen’s past was plum for Clinton’s mockery.
“I mean, really? Who gets up at 3 in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack against the former Miss Universe? I mean, he hurled as many insults as he could. Really. Why does she do things like that?” Clinton said.
From the crowd, someone shouted that Trump is “an idiot.”
Clinton pushed forward. “His latest Twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him. It proves yet again that he is temperamentally unfit to be President and Commander in Chief,” she said. “I have said it before and I’ll say it again: A man who can be provoked by a tweet should never be anywhere near the nuclear codes.”
It’s yet another example of Clinton getting more comfortable going after Trump on his own terms. The tactic has gotten under Trump’s skin—making him all the more unpredictable. With just 39 days before Election Day—and early voting underway in some places—provoking Trump into another blunder might be good politics for Clinton.
Trump earlier in the day responded to Clinton’s criticism. “For those few people knocking me for tweeting at three o’clock in the morning, at least you know I will be there, awake, to answer the call!” Trump tweeted.
Clinton seemed to be enjoying it. Pointing to ally Mark Cuban, she tweaked Trump. “By the way, he’s a real billionaire,” she said of the Dallas Mavericks owner.
She also hit her opponent on his trip to Mexico, a frequent target of Trump’s rallies. “My opponent’s only infrastructure plan is to build a wall. I loved that he went down to Mexico and he choked,” she said, borrowing one of Trump’s favorite insults, “choke artist.”
She then mocked Trump’s foreign policy. “He has this weird fascination with dictators. He signed up for the Vladimir Putin wish-list,” Clinton said.
Clinton then nodded to the tight race, especially in Florida where she was speaking. She urged her supporters to talk to their neighbors about the stakes of the election.
“If they’re seriously thinking about voting for my opponent, stage an intervention. Really,” she said. “Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump.”