COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA — Donald Trump on Wednesday questioned whether Hillary Clinton was “tough” after a 9/11 memorial earlier this month, mentioning her taking days off and then hitting her for not being able to make it to her car.
“Day off, day off, day off,” Trump said, describing Clinton’s campaign trail schedule, which has been lighter than his. “All those days off and she can’t even make it to her car. Isn’t she tough?”
The mocking comment seems to respond to video that captured Clinton stumbling as she got in to a campaign car after leaving a 9/11 Memorial Service early. Later that day, the Clinton campaign disclosed to reporters that the Democratic nominee had been recently diagnosed with pneumonia. Clinton took several days off following the incident to rest.
Wednesday’s comments are the clearest reaction Trump has had on the fainting matter, previously saying of her health incident on Sept. 11 that he wished Clinton well. The GOP nominee has, however, repeatedly cast doubt on her physical and mental health and called into question her “strength and stamina.” which Trump has said he finds lacking.
Trump previously took a veiled shot at the Clinton campaign’s claim that the former secretary of state “overheated” during the memorial. At a heavily air-conditioned Canton, Ohio rally in mid-September, he noted how hot it was in the room and then wondered if “Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour and do this.”
The Republican nominee arrived in the Hawkeye state ready to rally with his campaign’s newly minted Iowa Christian Conservative Coalition — and he was eager to point them out.
“Raise your hand,” Trump instructed the crowd, “Christian conservatives, everybody.”
Once the crowd reacted, some with hands raised, Trump turned his attention to those who didn’t. "Raise your hand if you’re not a Christian conservative. I want to see this. Right?”
“Oh, there’s a couple people, that’s all right,” Trump joked. "I think we’ll keep them, right? Should we keep them in the room, yes? I think so.”
Trump has consistently boasted of his support among evangelical Republican voters and it’s nothing new for him to poll his crowds. It is notable, however, that Trump has begun ending some of his scripted speeches with a call for a united America under “one God” — a line that could marginalize voters who don’t ascribe that religious philosophy.
Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, responded to Trump's call for hands Wednesday.
“Given Mr. Trump’s history of targeting religious and ethnic minorities, it is disturbing that he would single out non-Christians during his rally in Iowa," Hooper said. "It is clear that his vision of America is one of division and exclusion, not unity and acceptance.”