The dozens of Colorado women who rallied on the steps of the state capitol this morning to protest Donald Trump’s latest verbal attack on a woman had plenty of signs.
“Make misogyny great again,” read one. “Calling us names will not shut us up,” said another. “I am Alicia Machado,” read a third, a reference to the former Miss Universe lately under attack by the Republican presidential nominee.
But most of the signs had only one word: Hillary.
Hillary Clinton’s Colorado campaign this morning organized a press conference called “Our Girls are Watching” in direct response to remarks Trump made following last Monday’s presidential debate.
During the debate, Clinton brought up Machado, whom she said Trump called “Miss Piggy,” in response to her weight gain, and “Miss Housekeeping.” Machado is Latina.
In the early morning hours on Friday, Trump took to Twitter to respond. He called Machado “disgusting” and “my worst Miss U,” saying she had a “terrible” past and telling his followers to “check out [her] sex tape.”
The Clinton campaign has begun capitalizing on such remarks in earnest. Two recent ads feature children and young women reacting to some of Trump’s most offensive statements. A Monmouth University poll released today found that in Colorado, women voters back Clinton over Trump by 49 percent to 36 percent. That represents a decline in support since mid-July, when the same poll found that Clinton’s lead among women voters was 56 percent to 30 percent for Trump. In that same period, however, the poll found she has gained ground among male voters, who now back her by a 48-to-41 percent margin. The poll was conducted by telephone from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 with 400 Colorado residents likely to vote in the November election
This morning, Colorado elected officials such as U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, state House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran and state Rep. Rhonda Fields spoke out against Trump on Clinton’s behalf.
“These kinds of assaults and comments cannot be tolerated,” said Fields, a Democrat from Aurora. Her message for Trump was direct: “You will not be president,” she said to loud applause.
Duran, a Denver Democrat, said: “A woman’s worth is more than her measurements.”
Teen activist Kalina Gallardo, a freshman at Metro State Denver, shared a troubling personal story. When she was younger, she found herself all alone in a movie theater with two men when her friend went to the bathroom. The men approached and solicited a frightened Gallardo, who managed to muster up the courage to get away.
Gallardo will vote for Clinton this November. “I will vote for a future where girls will feel safe, proud and strong,” she said. “I will vote for a future where the barbaric, antiquated perceptions of the purpose, image and nature of a woman are not the deciding factor of her worth.”
In an interview after the press conference, Planned Parenthood CEO Vicki Cowart explained her national political organization’s reasons for supporting Clinton.
“I think what we see in this presidential candidate — and his running mate — is a complete disregard for women.” Mike Pence, she said, “has done more to turn back women’s access to reproductive health care than almost any other governor in the country.” And Clinton? “Hillary has been on the side of women’s access forever.”
Jennifer Hope, the campaign lead for the Colorado chapter of gun law advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, told The Colorado Independent her group supports Clinton’s “common sense” gun legislation. But the mother of eight — six of them daughters — says she’s also a Clinton supporter for her children’s sake.
“I’m putting my daughters out there in the world. I have to do everything I can for Hillary Clinton,” she said.
Congresswoman DeGette, a Denver Democrat, took the microphone to close the press conference. “I think we’ve made ourselves pretty clear,” she said. “Go vote!”