Bill Clinton: Behind the rape claim
“Republican nominee Donald Trump told the world he would make former President Bill Clinton’s sexual history an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign,” said Jonathan Cohn in HuffingtonPost.com, and this week, “he did it.” Before and during the second presidential debate, Trump put a spotlight on three women who have accused Clinton of sexual assaults—including Juanita Broaddrick, a retired Arkansas nursing-home operator who says Clinton raped her in 1978. Is her claim credible? Broaddrick says the assault occurred when she was serving as a volunteer for Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign, and Clinton lured her to a hotel room. There, she says, he raped her. Broaddrick made no report at the time, and two decades later signed an affidavit stating that rumors she’d been assaulted were “untrue.” But during Kenneth Starr’s investigation, she reversed herself.
What makes Broaddrick’s claim more credible, said Dylan Matthews in Vox.com,is that several of her friends and her ex-husband all say that she told them in 1978 Clinton had raped her. But another of Broaddrick’s allegations cited by Trump—that Hillary threatened her—is far more questionable. Broaddrick says that a few weeks after the alleged assault, she ran into Hillary, who grabbed her hand, looked at her very seriously, and said, “I want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for Bill.” Broaddrick says she interpreted that as a warning. Well, Hillary does have a history of going after her husband’s accusers, said Ian Tuttle in National Review.com. ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, a former spokesman for President Clinton, wrote in his memoirs that Hillary’s response to all Bill’s accusers—including Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and Monica Lewinsky—was to “stand by her man” and participate in his aides’ efforts to destroy the accusers’ reputations.
I’m a loyal Hillary supporter, but right now “I’m furious with Bill,” said Heidi Stevens in Chicago Tribune.com. Hillary has been “an ardent champion of women and children’s rights since the ’80s,” but thanks to Bill’s inexcusable track record with women, her historic campaign is being dragged through the muck by Trump. Even worse, Bill’s sexual past has given Trump a means to distract the country from his own long history of womanizing, harassment, and groping. How terribly ironic it would be for Broaddrick to get her revenge on Bill by helping to install a misogynist predator like Trump as our president.