Would you rather have a president who is an “economic genius” or a president with two X chromosomes? That’s the dichotomy established by former New York mayor and Donald Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani on Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
“Don’t you think a man who has this kind of economic genius is a lot better for the United States than a woman?” Giuliani asked, emphasizing the word woman. His query came in response to a question about the recent New York Times report suggesting that Trump may have paid nothing in taxes for nearly two decades. The Times obtained some of Trump’s 1995 tax records, which show that he wrote off nearly one billion dollars in losses. Tax experts claim that would have allowed him to significantly reduce—if not erase—his tax bill for years.
Giuliani’s phrasing suggests he thinks Trump’s ability to hire accountants who can reduce his tax bill to zero makes him more qualified for the presidency than half of the population. It’s also not clear whether or not Giuliani sees similar “genius” in the many poor and working class people who use tax credits and income supports to reduce their own income tax liabilities, a group that, like women, make up about half the population—let’s say 47 percent.
The former New York mayor’s demeaning comments about women also came on the heels of week where political news was largely dominated by coverage of Trump’s own demeaning comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. Giuliani has been one of Trump’s key surrogates throughout that controversy as well, using it as an opportunity to bring up Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity and claiming that Hillary Clinton is “too stupid to be president” because of her response to her husband’s behavior.
Trump, and Giuliani both faced their own public marital issues, but Giuliani doesn’t seem to think those embarrassments made either man “too stupid to be president.” In fact, for Rudy Giuliani, there seems to be only one factor that consistently distinguishes the “genius” and the “stupid.”