- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 17, 2016

Donald Trump on Saturday unveiled his new nickname for Democratic primary front-runner Hillary Clinton: “Crooked Hillary.”

“So I’m self-funding — all of this is mine. When I fly in, it’s on my dime, right? It’s on mine. And what does that mean? That means I’m not controlled by the special interests, by the lobbyists,” Mr. Trump said in New York. “They control Crooked Hillary and they control Lyin’ Ted Cruz, right?”

Mr. Trump repackaged the nickname several times in the ensuing 24 hours, saying in a tweet on Sunday that “Crooked Hillary is spending a fortune on ads against me.”

“I am the one person she doesn’t want to run against,” he said in the tweet. “Will be such fun!”

The billionaire businessman has previously used his marketing prowess to hone in on and exploit his rivals’ weaknesses.

His biggest success came when he stuck former GOP primary candidate Jeb Bush with a “low-energy” label that the former Florida governor was never able to shake.

Targeting Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s youth and inexperience, he devised a “Little Marco” moniker after momentum appeared to be building behind the first-term senator’s campaign.

And Mr. Trump began jeering primary rival Ted Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted,” targeting the Texas senator’s appeal to honesty and principled conservatism, after the Cruz camp was accused of campaign chicanery.

Referring to numerous accusations of corruption surrounding the former secretary of State, Mr. Trump unveiled the nickname to much fanfare.

“Love Trump calling Hillary ‘Crooked Hillary’!” said Maggie Aguilar on Twitter.

“I have to say #CrookedHillary is absolutely superb,” said David Jack Smith in a tweet. “It works on more than one level.”

But Mrs. Clinton on Sunday refused to retaliate, saying the nickname doesn’t bother her.

“He can say whatever he wants to say about me, I could really care less,” Mrs. Clinton told former top Clinton White House aide George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “I don’t respond to Donald Trump and his string of insults about me.”

The former first lady said she was more concerned about other people insulted by Mr. Trump.

“I can take care of myself. What I’m concerned about is how he goes after everybody else,” she said. “He goes after women. He goes after Muslims. He goes after immigrants. He goes after people with disabilities. He is hurting our unity at home. He is undermining the values that we stand for in New York and across America. And he’s hurting us around the world.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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