Failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is resorting to familiar tactics in her upcoming book, in which she attacks President Trump for allegedly standing too close to her, and calls him a “creep” — according to excerpts from the book released Wednesday.
The book, What Happened, will be released September 12 and will outline her account of why she lost the election to President Trump. It is expected to focus in part on alleged Russia interference and also the letter by then-FBI Director James Comey announcing the reopening of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server when she served as secretary of state.
But from excerpts released to MSNBC’s Morning Joe, she also takes issue with where Trump stood at the second presidential debate — accusing him of getting too close to her.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable,” she said. “He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, well, what would you do?”
“Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly: ‘Back up you creep, get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’”
“I kept my cool, aided by a lifetime of dealing with men trying to throw me off,” added Clinton.
The revisiting of the closeness of her debate opponent is reminiscent of a tactic Clinton and her supporters used to help sink opponent Rick Lazio in the 2000 New York Senate race. At a debate for that race, Lazio strode over to Clinton’s podium and asked her to sign a declaration to ban “soft money.”
Clinton declined, but Lazio was excoriated by Clinton’s supporters for being too aggressive. According to the New York Times at the time, Clinton’s team blasted Lazio’s move as “bullying and likely to alienate women.”
But despite how the book seems from the previews, Clinton says she is not interested in relitigating the contentious election, but merely wants to “pull back the curtain” on the experience.
“I want to pull back the curtain on an experience that was exhilarating, joyful, infuriating, and just plain humbling. Every day I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me,” she said. “And I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did. I couldn’t get the job done. And I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”