Jenna Johnson and Ryan Van Velzer, Washington Post – June 19, 2016
Donald Trump lavished praise on former Arizona governor Jan Brewer (R) at a Saturday afternoon rally, asking her to stand and be recognized by his crowd of several thousand. “She’s an amazing person,” Trump said, as Brewer stood in a small penned-off area for VIPs. “And, you know, it’s not nice to say about a woman, but you are tough. Aren’t you? Huh? She is tough. She’s smart.” When asked why it is “not nice” to say that a woman is tough, Trump’s spokeswoman forwarded this comment from him: “She’s tough and she’s smart and she was a great Governor of Arizona.”
Tim Hains, Real Clear Politics – May 1, 2016
“I’ll be much tougher than her, I will have much more respect than her from foreign countries. In fact, I read today where they’re very concerned with me, they feel I’m very strong, very tough and they’re very concerned. So, that’s a little opposite of what you’re telling me. That’s a psychological thing which frankly is good. Let them be a little concerned.
David Martotsko, Daily Mail – March 9, 2016
‘I can see women not necessarily liking the tone,’ he said, ‘but I also had to get to the finish line. And if I didn’t have that tone, I wouldn’t be talking to you this morning, I guarantee you that.’ ‘I would’ve been sitting home with Lindsey Graham watching television.’
Paul Waldman, The Washington Post – February 9, 2016
Obviously, much of this festival of male anxiety is driven by Trump, whose entire life at times appears to be an extended attempt to prove he’s a Real Man. But this is an old story in presidential politics; indeed, in almost every election of the last few decades there are times when Republicans have implied or said directly that the Democratic candidate is effeminate and weak, whether it was Ronald Reagan challenging Walter Mondale to arm-wrestle, George H.W. Bush saying Michael Dukakis hailed from the “Harvard Yard’s boutique,” or Republicans mocking John Kerry for supposedly “looking French” (you know what that means).