Pro-Clinton supporters hope to use Trump's words to boost edge with women

(CNN) -- When Donald Trump makes a bimbo reference or a recording emerges of the GOP front-runner critiquing women's physical appearances, Democrats add it to the arsenal.

"The most motivating thing for women voters would be to have Donald Trump as the nominee," said Marcy Stech, the communications director for EMILY's List, a Democratic political committee that supports pro-abortion rights women running for public office.

Hillary Clinton's allies are already compiling a record of Trump's crass comments and positions on women's issues, laying the groundwork for a potential general election battle against Clinton.

Her backers believe using Trump's own words against him -- not only about women, but also Muslims and Hispanics -- may prove to be one of their most powerful weapons.

Their options are hardly limited.

Over the years Trump has been a frequent guest on The Howard Stern Show -- comments that found renewed attention after BuzzFeed unearthed them. Over the years, Trump has ranked women's appearances on a scale of 1 to 10, once saying "a person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a 10."

He's also delved into his own sexual preferences and even bragged about women who flirted with him, saying "They'll walk up and they'll flip their top, and they'll flip their panties."

All of that came before Trump was a presidential candidate, and he brushed the remarks aside in an interview with CNN.

"We had a lot of fun on the show," Trump said. "I was never a politician, and we just had fun on the show. And it's all clean -- it's all clean. It's none of this disgusting stuff, that I can tell you."

But on the campaign trail, Trump has had another crop of cringe-worthy moments.

There was the time Trump went to war with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after she questioned him in a debate about his history of sexist comments.

In the aftermath, Trump made a crude reference to her menstrual cycle on CNN, saying, "she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and, you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood out of her wherever."

Trump later insisted he was talking about Kelly's nose.

He also criticized Carly Fiorina's appearance when she was running for president.

"Look at that face!" Trump said as Fiorina appeared on television, according to a Rolling Stone profile. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"

Trump later said he was referring to Fiorina's persona, not her appearance.

While Clinton has struggled this cycle to solidify her base of female supporters, particularly younger women, her allies believe running against Trump could energize this key general election voting bloc to rally behind Clinton.

"I think Trump will be unelectable to a large swath of female voters," said Hilary Rosen, a Democratic strategist and political commentator for CNN. "I think you're going to have moms who don't like the role model for their children. I think you're going to have unmarried women who see this as belittling and patronizing. I think women are going to coalesce around Hillary on this issue."

Clinton boosters said there's plenty more to use against Trump -- from video tapes to lawsuits and depositions -- that haven't yet come to light in the GOP primary.

A Trump nomination "has the opportunity and potential to break open an entire part of the electorate," Stech said.

And that doesn't apply solely to women who are Democrats or independents, she added.

"I think that there are a lot of women who are Republicans, who find themselves identifying with Republican policies, who would not vote or vote for Hillary Clinton," Stech said.

But Democrats are also wary of the difficulty of pinning any negative storyline to the billionaire businessman. They've seen how little success Republicans have had in damaging him so far.

For Trump's part, he's begun to highlight his wife, Melania, and his daughter, Ivanka, to help soften his edges.

He's also been touting stances that might make him more palatable to female voters. Even though Trump has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood if it continues to offer abortions, he has also lauded the women's health services Planned Parenthood provides.

"Millions of women have been helped by Planned Parenthood," Trump said in a recent press conference. "I'm going to be really good for women. I'm going to be really good for women's health issues."

Trump even acknowledged, "Maybe that's not a perfect conservative view."

Clinton, meanwhile, appears to relish the idea of facing off against Trump.

"Mr. Trump insults and dismisses women. He's been throwing a lot of heat my way," Clinton said at a Women for Hillary kickoff event last year in New Hampshire. "He said he would do a much better job for women than I would. Now that's a general election debate that's going to be a lot of fun."

In what's beginning to look like a general election preview, earlier this year Trump and Clinton traded charges of sexism.

Trump responded by telling CNN that Clinton was an "enabler" for former President Bill Clinton's past infidelities and accusations of sexual misconduct.

Asked whether he was concerned that Clinton might use his history of inflammatory comments about women against him, Trump opted for a different approach in a recent interview with CNN.

Rather than referencing her husband, Trump -- who regularly hammers Clinton over the controversy surrounding her email server -- aimed a broadside at Clinton's electability.

"She's got enough problems," Trump said. "She doesn't have to worry about me. She shouldn't even be allowed to run."


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