Donald Trump launched new attacks against Bill and Hillary Clinton Wednesday as the war of words between both campaigns heated up.
The GOP hopeful told about 2,000 supporters in Hilton Head Island, S.C. that he was forced to fight back against the Clinton camp after the Democratic frontrunner accused him of displaying a "penchant for sexism."
Trump blasted the former president, saying, "And [Hillary] wants to accuse me of things. And the husband's one of the great abusers of the world. Give me a break. Give me a break. Give me a break."
"She came out saying [Trump] has a ‘penchant for sexism’… now she is playing with that card,” Trump explained. "I had no choice, but I had to mention her husband's situation," a reference to Bill Clinton’s previous extramarital relationships.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that Bill Clinton's past is in play during the election.
“Hillary brought up the whole thing with [calling Trump] sexist," he said. "She’s got a major problem [that] happens to be right in her own house. We'll go after the ex-president … it’ll come out well for us”.
Trump also acknowledged that his own personal "indiscretions" — including an affair with Marla Maples, who later became his second wife — were fair game.
The Clintons and the Trumps had been on friendly terms for years. The Clintons attended Trump's wedding to his third wife, Melania, and the couples' daughters, Ivanka and Chelsea, are friends. Trump came to Bill Clinton's defense when the Monica Lewinsky scandal was unfolding, calling efforts to impeach him "nonsense."
But in recent days, the rival campaigns have become increasingly hostile.
Trump first stirred controversy during a Michigan rally on Dec. 21, when he claimed Clinton got "schlonged" in the 2008 Iowa caucuses by Barack Obama. Clinton made her "penchant for sexism" claim in response to the real estate mogul's statement, but Trump said his remark was not meant to be vulgar.
Clinton's deputy communications director Christina Reynolds said Monday that Clinton "won't be bullied" by Trump and plans to "stand up to him, as she has from the beginning of his campaign" when he insults women and other groups.
In an effort to shape Clinton's image with the electorate Wednesday, Trump called the former secretary of state "low-energy", a label he has previously reserved for former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
He went further suggesting "no women" want to vote for Clinton in 2016. This drew loud cheers from the crowd.
”She won't win," said Trump, who added that he would "love, love having a woman president " — just not Hillary Clinton, whom he described as "horrible" and hard to listen to.
"I just have to turn off the television so many times. She just gives me a headache," he said.
Clinton leads Trump 46.3 percent to 41.3 percent in the latest Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.
Trump has predicted that a general election matchup with Clinton could lead to one of the largest voter turnouts in recent history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.