Photograph by Getty Images

Campaign merch hits a new low.

By Kristen Bellstrom
April 25, 2016

Donald Trump supporters have gotten a lot of attention for scary, violent behavior at rallies for the candidate. But as the general election is looking increasingly likely to boil down to a face-off between Trump and Hillary Clinton, a new facet of the GOP frontrunner’s base is surfacing: misogyny.

On Monday, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, a host at HuffPost live, tweeted a picture of a t-shirt being sold at a Trump event in Rhode Island. The shirt reads, “Trump That Bitch,” and includes photos of Trump and Clinton.

Unfortunately, the shirt isn’t a one-off. Versions have turned up at prior rallies, including a March 13 event in Bloomington, Ind.

A quick Google search turns up a number of shirts, bumper stickers—even a bottle of hot sauce—with the same disturbing phrase.

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While none of this merch is officially sanctioned by the Trump campaign, it has been highly visible at campaign events—and even acknowledged by the candidate himself.

In February, Trump reacted a “Trump that bitch” bumper sticker, which was being held aloft by someone in the crowd. You can watch a YouTube video of his response below:

“This can only happen at a Trump rally,” he says, laughing. Recalling the criticism he faced after failing to challenge a town hall attendee who insisted that President Obama is a Muslim, Trump jokingly chided the sticker holder. “Sir, you’re reprimanded, okay?” he said. “But we’re not throwing him out, right folks?”

The anti-Clinton merch raises the same question that surfaced in the wake of violence at Trump rallies: To what extent is the candidate responsible for the behavior of his following? For many, Trump crossed a line when he encouraged supporters to physically remove protesters from his events, promising to defend them in court if necessary.

While snickering at the bumper sticker doesn’t rise to the level of inciting violence, it certainly does nothing to discourage the misogyny of its sentiment. Indeed, it might even be read as an endorsement.

The Trump campaign has not yet responded to Fortune’s request for comment. We will update this post if and when we receive a response.

 

 

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