After the Monday night presidential debate, Donald Trump boasted that he decided against mentioning Bill Clinton’s sex scandals during the debate, and his allies cheered the move as a display of restraint and excellent temperament.
Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, on Tuesday morning said that Trump displayed “great temperament and restraint” by choosing not to mention Bill Clinton’s sex scandals during the debate.
During an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Conway said that Hillary Clinton sometimes looked “glib” while Trump was speaking during the debate before pivoting to Trump’s decision not to bring up Bill Clinton.
“I have to say, certainly as a woman, I appreciated the restraint at the end — I’m not sure I would have been able to exercise it myself — but restraint is a virtue, and it’s a presidential virtue,” Conway said. “To tell Hillary Clinton, after she accused him of being terrible with women, to tell Hillary Clinton, ‘I was prepared to go rough tonight and I’m not going to do it because your husband and your daughter are here,’ that is going to grow in importance over the next couple of days as the moment of great temperament and restraint.”
Conway was later asked what Trump refrained from mentioning.
“He could have said what was on millions of Americans minds no doubt, that are we going to relitigate who’s been good to women and who hasn’t,” Conway responded. ” I think we all can finish the sentence. I mean, people did last night, they finished the sentence, you know, that maybe he was going to talk about Bill Clinton’s record with women. But he decided not to.”
And when asked if Trump holds Hillary Clinton accountable for her husband’s behavior with women, Conway replied, “He didn’t say that.”
Newt Gingrich, a Trump surrogate, also praised the Republican nominee’s “self-control.”
“I think that may have been the best single moment of the entire debate. And Hillary was mean, nasty, personal, knew it was a cheap shot,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity after the debate. “He had a perfect moment there to clobber her. And he looked over at Chelsea and he thought, you know, ‘I’m not going to do it.’ That may have been the best moment of the debate for Donald Trump because it showed that unlike Hillary Clinton, for whom nothing is too mean or despicable, he actually was willing to set a standard of being decent. And I’m very proud of him.”
“He must have been very tempted, and it took a lot of self-control,” Gingrich added.
Donald Trump Jr. also told Hannity after the debate that he was glad his dad “didn’t take the cheap shot.”
“When she accused him of all these things, he didn’t take the cheap shot about Bill Clinton,” Donald Trump Jr. said. “He was very restrained about it.”
And on Tuesday morning, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Trump showed “restraint.”
“Donald’s performance was excellent in the respect that he showed the American people he can be president and I thought his restraint at the end was absolutely remarkable,” he said on “Fox and Friends.” “After those terrible things she said about him in front of his daughter and his children and his concern for saying terrible things about — we know what he would say about Bill Clinton.”