INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests and supporters during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on April 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are 57 delegates at stake in Indianas May 3 primary.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 20: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests and supporters during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on April 20, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. There are 57 delegates at stake in Indianas May 3 primary. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

Trump's enigmatic relationship with women is under scrutiny

A CNN/ORC poll in March found 73% of registered women voters view Trump unfavorably

(CNN) —  

The thing about women, Donald J. Trump once wrote, is that they “have one of the great acts of all time.”

“The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers,” he continued. “The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naïve or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye – or perhaps another body part.”

The provocative passage, along with several others, is contained in a chapter devoted to women in Trump’s 1997 book, “The Art of the Comeback.”

Donald Trump complains ‘media is so after me’ over women

Clinton’s ‘woman’s card’

His words on women have newfound relevance in 2016 as Trump’s enigmatic relationship with the opposite sex is front and center in his campaign for President.

As he has assumed the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee, he has opened a new gender-focused line of attack against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He has skewered Clinton for playing the “woman’s card” and attacked her as an “enabler” for her husband’s marital infidelities.

The comments play on potential vulnerabilities for his likely general election opponent – but they also highlight Trump’s own significant hurdles with female voters as he tries to win their votes in November.

Trump recently weighed in on Bill Clinton’s past infidelities during a campaign appearance, charging that “nobody in this country – and maybe in the history of this country politically – was worse than Bill Clinton with women.”

He went on to connect Clinton with her husband’s marital indiscretions.

“He was a disaster,” Trump said at a campaign event last Friday, “and she’s been the total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives.”