Clinton capitalizes on Trump fat-shaming former Miss Universe

Last Updated Sep 28, 2016 9:40 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton heads to New Hampshire today to campaign with former rival Bernie Sanders. The Democratic presidential nominee is capitalizing on Donald Trump’s treatment of a former Miss Universe.

One of the Clinton camp’s goals was to goad Trump into making a mistake, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes. They say it worked and that Trump is digging himself in deeper by fat-shaming Alicia Machado, who is still fighting back.

“He was really rude with me. He was -- he tried to destroy my self esteem,” Machado said to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. 

Machado said Trump’s comments about her on Fox Tuesday brought up bad memories from 20 years ago, when she gained a few pounds after winning his beauty pageant and was forced to work out in front of an army of cameras. 

“She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem,” Trump told Fox and Friends. 

“She weighed 118 pounds or 117 pounds and she went up to 160 or 70. So this is somebody that likes to eat,” Trump had said in 1997.

When the two appeared together on “CBS This Morning” a few months later, Machado said she only gained 16 pounds.

“She really has turned out to be one of the great Miss Universes, I will say. And she had a little problem during the middle where she gained a little weight,” Trump said in May 1997.

“I don’t think so,” Machado said. 

“Yeah, she’s probably right,” Trump said. 

“I don’t think so,” Machado said. 

Trump feigned ignorance when Clinton brought up Machado on the debate stage Monday night.

“He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’ then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ because she was Latina,’” Clinton said at the debate. “Donald, she has a name.”

“Where did you find this?” Trump asked.

The Clinton campaign was prepared for the fallout. Within hours, there was a press release and a new Spanish language campaign video featuring Machado.

In Raleigh Tuesday, Clinton called Trump’s views “dangerously incoherent.”

Others noted the irony of Trump criticizing a woman’s weight when his medical records revealed this month that at 236, he’s on the borderline between overweight and obese. 

“Yeah. I think I could lose a little weight. I’ve always been a little bit this way. … It’s tough because of the way I live. But the one thing I would like to do is be able to drop 15, 20 pounds,” he said.

Clinton’s hopes of turning Arizona blue got brighter Tuesday with an endorsement of the Arizona Republic newspaper, the paper’s first endorsement of a Democrat.

“Trump’s long history of objectifying women and his demeaning comments about women during the campaign are not just good-old-boy gaffes,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “They are evidence of deep character flaws. They are part of a pattern.”