- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 8, 2016

Polls show that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has a real problem with women voters, but the billionaire’s campaign on Sunday doubled down in its fights with the two most prominent women in the Democratic Party — Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump senior adviser Paul Manafort said Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Warren and other Democratic women are falsely accusing Mr. Trump of sexism.

“He’s not going to allow hypocrisy on the women’s issue,” Mr. Manafort said. “His business empire, he has put many women in leadership positions. … He’s not anti-women.”

Mr. Trump over the weekend accused Mrs. Clinton of being an “enabler” for attacking women who had sexual affairs with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Manafort declined to give specific examples of how the former first lady tried to destroy the reputations of those women, saying he would allow Mr. Trump to speak for himself.

Mr. Trump repeatedly has accused Mrs. Clinton of playing the “woman’s card,” saying she’s a viable presidential contender only because of her gender. The former secretary of state has shot back and accused Mr. Trump of advocating policies detrimental to women.

But surveys show Mr. Trump has a lot of work to do with female voters, who now constitute a slight majority of both the population and the usual electorate.

A CBS News poll released last month found that 69 percent of women voters nationwide have an unfavorable view of Mr. Trump.

A variety of polls give Mrs. Clinton a huge advantage among female voters. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released last month, for example, showed Mrs. Clinton capturing 56 percent of the female vote compared to just 33 percent for Mr. Trump — a whopping 23-point edge for the former first lady.

As for the fight between Mr. Trump and Ms. Warren, neither has shown a willingness to back down. Ms. Warren unleashed a series of tweets late last week accusing Mr. Trump of basing his campaign on sexism and xenophobia.

“There’s more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls,” she tweeted last week among many other things.

Mr. Trump fired back, citing Ms. Warren’s claiming as part of her Harvard Law School profile to have American Indian heritage, which has been called into question and looks to be exaggerated at best.

“Goofy Elizabeth Warren is weak and ineffective … Does nothing. All talk, no action,” he tweeted. “Goofy Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton’s flunky, has career that is totally based on a lie. She is not Native American.”

Mr. Manafort said Sunday the campaign won’t back down from fights with either Ms. Warren or Mrs. Clinton.

“He’s not going to allow Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren to hide behind their sex to make cases that are just hypocritical,” Mr. Manafort said, before specifically addressing Ms. Warren’s criticisms.

“The statements she was making, they were totally out of bounds, and we gave it back to her,” he said. “If she can’t take it, that’s her problem.”

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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