President Donald Trump called California Sen. Kamala Harris "a monster" among other insults in a Thursday (October 9) interview, which experts have described as a pattern of demeaning insults toward women of color, NPR reported. Trump spoke with the Fox Business Channel over the phone Thursday morning as was asked about Harris' performance against Vice President Mike Pence during the Wednesday (October 7) vice presidential debate.
The president referred to Harris as "this monster that was onstage with Mike Pence, who destroyed her last night, by the way." He also called her performance "terrible" and that she's "totally unlikeable."
"I thought that wasn't even a contest last night. She was terrible. I don't think you could get worse," Trump remarked. Harris declined to comment on Trump's words but called them "childish." Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden did have something to say about Trump's comments.
"It's obvious he has great difficulty dealing with strong women, great difficulty," Biden said, calling Trump's remarks despicable" and so "beneath the office of presidency." The former vice president also praised his running mate's performance on stage.
Some experts say these attacks are not unusual for President Trump, who made similar attacks against women of color who challenged him or his colleagues in 2016. While the president has a history of insulting his political opponents, his approach to women of color is different.
"When he does this, he's also speaking to a contingent of voters, particularly white male voters, who support him and who are key to his base, who we know from multiple studies done on the last election that their levels of both sexism and racial resentment were actually pretty strong indicators of their support for Trump," according to Kelly Dittmar, who is part the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Trump called former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman "that dog" and a "crazed low life." He also said some senators, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, should "go back" to the countries they came from.
Adrianne Shropshire leads the BlackPac, a group that mobilizes Black voters. She said Trump calling Harris "monstrous" was an attempt to dehumanize and diminish her.
"It's obviously an attempt to dredge up long-held tropes and stereotypes about black women being out of control, being mean and angry," Shropshire said.
Photo: Getty Images