Over the course of the 2016 campaign, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has been accused of murder, compared to the devil and deemed worthy of execution. And yet, no matter how outlandish the attack, she had not directly engaged in a response.
On the other hand, her Republican opponent Donald Trump has demonstrated an unprecedented penchant for reacting to nearly any perceived slight or criticism, even when it comes from a relatively apolitical person. It's a pattern that has raised serious questions about his temperament and exacerbated already existing tensions with women and minority voters.
In the wake of Monday night's highly rated first general election debate, Trump has lashed out at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, reiterating his claim that her supposedly "massive" weight gain "was a problem" when she worked under him twenty years ago during the time he ran the pageant competition.
Trump's recent remarks came after Clinton resurrected Machado's story at the debate, recounting how the real estate mogul had called the then-18-year-old "Miss Piggy" because of her weight, and "Miss Housekeeping," because she is Latina. So far, neither Trump or his campaign have refuted Machado's allegations.
But this behavior is part of a pattern for Trump, who has shown an astonishingly thin skin for a national figure who has been in the spotlight for more than 30 years. Here are just a few of the civilians he's feuded with.
Khizr and Ghazala Khan — The Gold Star parents became household names after a stirring appearance at this summer's Democratic National Convention, where Khizr Khan challenged Trump to read the Constitution and questioned whether the GOP nominee understood the concept of sacrifice. Trump took these comments to heart, and later raised questions about whether Ghazala Khan was "allowed" to speak. Trump's remarks were widely condemned, never retracted, and may have led to a temporary dip in the GOP standard bearer's poll numbers.
Rev. Faith Green Timmons — The Flint-based clergywoman found herself in the middle of a firestorm when she interrupted a Trump speech at her church (which was supposed to be about their efforts to withstand the city's water crisis) when it suddenly took on a decidedly partisan tone. After the incident made headlines, Trump claimed that Timmons was "a nervous mess" and suggested that she had planned to steal his thunder from the beginning. He also claimed that the small, predominately black audience he addressed had been chanting for him to continue. Numerous news outlets have debunked his version of the encounter.
Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel — The presiding judge in a case against Trump's controversial university became an unexpected political football when the real estate mogul suggested repeatedly that Curiel's "Mexican heritage" might make the judge biased against him. Curiel was born and raised in the United States. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called Trump's comments an example of "textbook racism." Trump has said his comments about Curiel were "misconstrued" but he has not apologized for them.
Samuel L. Jackson — The Academy Award-nominated actor and Capital One pitchman complained publicly that he'd received a bill from one of Trump's golf resorts even though he'd never been a member there. This complaint — and Jackson's comparison of Trump to P.T. Barnum — set the Republican nominee off. He called Jackson "boring" on social media and later accused him of cheating at golf. “Don’t like @SamuelLJackson’s golf swing. Not athletic. I’ve won many club championships. Play him for charity!” Trump wrote in January. Jackson has since come out as a vocal Clinton supporter,
Graydon Carter — According to the Vanity Fair editor, a satiric column he wrote about Trump for the now-defunct Spy magazine back in the 1990s in which he referred to the businessman as a "short-fingered vulgarian" has led to decades of personal retorts from the Republican nominee. Carter says Trump has sent him photos of himself, with his hands circled in gold sharpie and the handwritten caption: 'See, not so short!' Trump's sensitivity about his hands has come up repeatedly in the 2016 race, even awkwardly on the debate stage.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — The NBA legend also received a vicious, handwritten note directly from Trump after he wrote a column criticizing the eventual GOP nominee's treatment of the press. “Now I know why the press always treated you so badly — they couldn’t stand you,” Trump wrote one year ago. “The fact is that you don’t have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again!” The Hall of Famer hasn't been intimidated and continues to be an outspoken representative of the Muslim-American community.
Jon Stewart — Trump is not a fan of the popular former "Daily Show" host. And while Stewart has been known for mercilessly parodying Trump in the past, the GOP nominee has been more personal, invoking the comedian's Jewish heritage and chiding him for changing his last name from Leibowitz to Stewart. "Jon Stewart is the most overrated joke on television," he once tweeted. "A wiseguy with no talent. Not smart, but convinces dopes he is! Fading out fast."
Seth Meyers — After the "Saturday Night Live" veteran brutally mocked Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, Trump became a comedy critic again, claiming Meyers "has no talent" and stuttered during his performance. Meyers has until recently had a ban on Trump appearing on his current late night show, which baited the GOP nominee to claim: "He has begged me to do the show for the last two years. I have told him emphatically 'no.' I only like doing shows with good ratings." Meyers has routinely topped the ratings in his 12:30 a.m. time slot.
Megyn Kelly — Trump's prolonged dispute with the Fox News anchorwoman erupted on the primary debate stage, when she raised questions about his history of sexist remarks. For several weeks, Trump questioned Kelly's credentials, talent and intellect — even briefly boycotting Fox News because of her alleged bias against him. Kelly and Trump have since made peace, but his assertion that she was "bleeding out of her ... wherever" when she questioned him remains one of the most memorable moments of the 2016 primary campaign.
Robert De Niro — The usually soft-spoken acting legend has been very vocal about his opposition to Donald Trump, calling him "totally nuts" and comparing him to his deranged character Travis Bickle from the 1976 movie "Taxi Driver." Trump hasn't been able to let De Niro's criticisms slide. He's said the actor isn't "the brightest bulb on the planet," and while Trump admits that he likes the "Goodfellas" star's acting, "in terms of when I watch him doing interviews and various other things, we'’re not dealing with Albert Einstein."
Cher — The pop music icon and outspoken social media presence poked the bear when she called Trump a "racist cretin" and a "loudmouth" back in 2012. "I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work," Trump clapped back, while urging her to "spend more time focusing on her family and dying career." The Oscar winner hasn't backed down though, continuing to troll Trump online and in appearances in support of Clinton. "He doesn't mean we want to 'Make America Great Again.' He means: We want to make America straight and white," she said in August.
Jerry Seinfeld — The popular comedian provoked Trump's ire when he pulled out of a planned performance for his son Eric Trump's charity foundation in 2011 amid the real estate mogul's very public birther crusade. Trump lashed out at Seinfeld in an open letter in which he questioned the comic's character and took shots at his show "The Marriage Ref." "Despite its poor ratings, I didn't cancel on you like you canceled on my son and St. Jude. I only wish I did," Trump wrote.
Rosie O'Donnell — Trump's battle with the former talk show host may be his most infamous — and longest. Ever since O'Donnell went on an extended anti-Trump rant on "The View" in 2006, she has been a talking point for the real estate mogul. Besides calling her everything from a "degenerate" to a "pig," Trump has brought her up not once, but twice during the 2016 presidential debates.
The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post, The National Review, The New Yorker, The New Hampshire Union-Leader, The Daily Beast, Forbes, The Des Moines Register, Vanity Fair, The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, CNN — These are just a few of the news organizations that Trump has declared "failing" or unsuccessful after they published reports that were critical of him. And when it comes to journalists themselves, like reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a congenital condition affecting the joints, sometimes almost nothing is off limits.