Hillary Clinton plays the part of the tough fighter, but in fact her campaign and supporters have a history accusing male candidate opponents of menacing her on the debate stage.

Most famously, that card was played against Rick Lazio from the 2000 New York Senate debate between Hillary Clinton and Rick Lazio? Lazio’s campaign all but collapsed after he approached Clinton at the podium with a copy of a “soft money” pledge and demanded she sign it. Of course, Lazio paid the price. Watch:

The 2000 Clinton Senate campaign—and the media—acted apalled:

Stung by apparent charges that he was too aggressive during last week’s New York Senate debate against Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rep. Rick Lazio said Tuesday such criticism of his behavior was “sexist.”

Lazio, the Republican nominee, left his podium during last week’s forum in Buffalo and strode over to Mrs. Clinton’s side of the stage brandishing what he said was a contract to ban soft money from the campaign. The first lady did not accept the offer.

After the event, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman, Howard Wolfson, called Lazio’s behavior “menacing.”

Last Thursday, the first lady dismissed it with a jibe at Lazio, saying “the thing that probably prepared me best in dealing with things like that was having two younger brothers.”

Tuesday, Lazio responded during a campaign stop in Buffalo.

“The idea that somehow that there’s a double standard because you’re a man or a woman, and you can’t make a point forcefully if you’re a man, and the person you’re making the point with is a woman, I just think that’s sexist,” he told reporters.

Lazio added, “I don’t think people in the Senate worry about whether you’re a man or a woman.”

In response, Mrs. Clinton’s communications director, Howard Wolfson, said “Today the political world was rocked by the bizarre accusation that Rick Lazio has been the victim of sexism. Poor Rick. Let me be the first to offer him my support.”

Menacing. Remember that word.

The Rick Lazio card was played against Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primaries, Hillary Supporters Rush to Paint Bernie as 2016’s Rick Lazio:

Senator Sanders’ refusal to let Hillary Clinton interrupt him became one of the most circulated moments of Sunday night’s Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan. “Excuse me, I’m talking,” said Sanders.

Within moments, comparisons of failed Clinton Senate competitor, Rick Lazio, cluttered the internet.

Pro-Clinton group, Correct the Record, compiled a list of tweets making the comparison and sent an email which included the Bernie’s Lazio moment.

Hillary and her supporters are doing it again, this time with regard to Trump’s performance last night in the second debate, in which during one portion he stood behind her. The camera angles made is seem that he was closer than he actually was:

I first noticed the Rick Lazio Card being played as the debate was in progress, by Buzzfeed:

Here’s the Buzzfeed article, already shared by over 500,000 people, People Freaked Out Over Trump Appearing To Creep Behind Clinton During The Debate:


Here’s a tweet in the Buzzfeed article, by a NY Times reporter:

by a Buzzfeed reporter:

by an ACLU attorney:

The Hill also reports, Social media responds to Trump looming behind Clinton:

a Vox.com writer posted:

a former Obama campaign staffer:

Remember that word “menacing”?


There were plenty of tweets using that word:

Huffington post created a “SuperCut” of Trump’s “lurking“:

Reporters on Hillary’s plane after the debate also asked Hillary about it. Her response was that he was “very present” and in her space:

That reporters urged Hillary to play the Rick Lazio Card says it all. After all, the media is Hillary’s base.