Hillary Clinton Sharpens Attacks on Republicans Over Women's Issues

From Trump to Rubio to Bush, she slammed the GOP on issues like paid sick leave and equal pay.

PORTSMOUTH, NH - SEPTEMBER 5: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks after receiving an endorsement from U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) September 5, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Clinton attended a Women for Hillary event at Portsmouth High School.

Photographer: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Speaking at Saturday's launch of “Women for Hillary” in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton escalated her jabs at the 16 Republican men running for president, taking aim at their records on issues like family leave, pay equity, and funding for Planned Parenthood.

The sharpest criticism was reserved for GOP front-runner Donald Trump, who has come under fire for his disparaging comments about women. Trump has defended himself by saying, “I cherish women,” and pointing to his record of hiring women in his business endeavors.

“If it’s all the same to you, Mr. Trump, I’d rather you stopped cherishing women and started respecting them,” Clinton said to laughter at a rally in Portsmouth. 

The rest of the field? “They’re Trump without the pizzazz or the hair,” she said earlier.

Clinton slammed retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson for saying it was a “spurious argument” to think about life-of-the-mother exceptions to abortion. She also blasted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who in August said, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” (He later walked the comment back.)

The Clinton campaign also released a video Saturday in which the candidate says, “I'm really tired of women being shamed and blamed,” and then shows Rubio, Bush, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker criticizing Planned Parenthood or Roe v. Wade.

At the event, Clinton also accepted the endorsement of New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

“She will proudly stand with women,” said Shaheen, a former New Hampshire governor who was elected to a second Senate term in 2014. “I will guarantee you that Hillary Clinton is never going to defund Planned Parenthood.”

Several of the 17 Republican candidates have suggested the need to gut the organization's federal funding. 

Saturday's event came at what Clinton called “a special anniversary,” marking 20 years since she told a U.N. meeting in Beijing that “women's rights are human rights, and human rights are women's rights.”

She expanded on the theme Saturday, saying women's issues she has often championed are, at their core, economic issues.

Jennifer Epstein contributed reporting from New Hampshire.