- Fox News/Screenshot
Donald Trump continued to call his obscene remarks about women captured in a leaked 2005 audio recording “locker-room talk” on Fox News on Tuesday night, insisting they wouldn’t hurt his chances among female voters.
It was Trump’s first national television interview since the tape surfaced on Friday and since he debated his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton, on Sunday night.
In the 11-year-old audio, Trump told Billy Bush aboard an “Access Hollywood” bus how he unsuccessfully tried to have sex with Bush’s colleague Nancy O’Dell, who was married, how he wanted to kiss an actress he was about to appear with on a soap opera, and that his celebrity status allowed him to get away with groping women.
On Fox News on Tuesday, host Bill O’Reilly asked the Republican presidential nominee whether he thought the tape hurt his chance of winning over female voters.
“I’ve had a lot of women come up to me and say, ‘Boy, I’ve heard that and I’ve heard a lot worse than that over my life,'” Trump said. “If that’s what it’s going to take to lose an election, that will be pretty sad, then I have to go back to my other life. But I’ll tell you what: I think we’re going to win the election, Bill.”
Most national polls taken over the weekend put Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency above 80%, and renowned statistician Nate Silver projects her lead among women to now be a whopping 33 points.
O’Reilly also asked Trump whether he had a specific plan in place to appeal to women before they cast their votes. The real-estate tycoon responded that his childcare plan was for women in particular but that women wanted the same things as all his supporters.
“What women want is they want secure borders, they want safety, they want law and order, they want a police department that’s allowed to do its job,” Trump said. “They want justice for all; they want a lot of things everybody else wants. And Hillary Clinton can’t do it.”
At the beginning of their interview, O’Reilly promised to let Trump say if he felt he was being treated “unfairly” at any point during the interview so the anchor could change his line of questioning.
Trump never invoked this, but the two continually spoke over each other throughout the conversation. O’Reilly even joked later in the hour that he “might be banned after that interview,” a reference to Trump’s tendency to bar news organizations he disagrees with from accessing his campaign events.
The tougher Trump, evocative of the candidate he was during the Republican primary, seems to be freer to express himself than he has in months.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me,” he wrote on Twitter earlier in the day, “and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”