As Donald J. Trump struggles with female voters on the campaign trail the billionaire businessman enlisted the help of his wife Melania to speak at a rally Monday night in Wisconsin.
Trump’s series of misogynist and sexist comments during the campaign has led to women viewing him unfavorably by a more than three to one ratio, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.
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And with the Wisconsin primary scheduled for Tuesday, Melania Trump joined her husband on stage at the Milwaukee Theater on Monday night for his final rally.
“I’m very proud of him. He’s a hard worker, he’s kind, he has a great heart, he is tough, he is smart, he’s a great communicator, he is a great negotiator and he is telling the truth,” said Melania praising her husband.
“As you may know by now when you attack him he will punch back ten times harder,” she said to a cheering crowd. “No matter who you are, a man or a woman, he treats everyone equal.”
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The decision to solicit his wife’s help comes after a series of recent events that brought Trump’s relationship with women into the spotlight.
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Last month, Melania was thrust into the campaign when an anti-Trump Super PAC supporting Senator Ted Cruz released an ad in Utah featuring a risqué picture of her from a GQ photo shoot in 2001.
Trump shot back at Cruz by Tweeting a photo of his wife with an image of Cruz’s wife, Heidi. The incident set off a firestorm of criticism that Trump later called “a mistake.”
“It’s probably too little too late,” said Ryan Hurl, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto, speaking about Trump’s decision to turn to Melania. “It’s hard to make up for some of his earlier missteps.”
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Trump was also sharply criticized after comments made during an interview with Chris Matthews of MSNBC last week when Trump said if abortion became illegal, women who underwent the procedure should face “some form of punishment.” He later backed away from the comments that were even at odds with staunch abortion opponents.
Hurl said while a Republican candidate has to be pro-life Trump approached the delicate abortion issue “in the worst possible way imaginable.”
“I think it has finally become too much. He has approached almost every issue in a way calculated to undermine the Republican Party,” Hurl said. “The Republican Party is going to do everything they can to stop him.”
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