Donald Trump's Clinton gambit: Good or bad for the GOP?

Bush suggested as much on the campaign trail last week, telling reporters that Trump’s recent crude description of her 2008 primary defeat would enable Hillary Clinton to appear sympathetic.

“She’s great at being the victim,” Bush said. “She will use this in a way that won’t be helpful to our cause.”

Bush and others can remember how the public rallied to Clinton’s side in the aftermath of her husband’s White House scandal. In her more than two decades in public life, Hillary Clinton’s favorability has never been higher than it was in December 1998 after the Lewinsky scandal and her husband was impeached, peaking at 67 percent, according to Gallup.

“We’re a long ways away from that era, but the Clintons thrive off of playing the victim, and reminding Americans of the time in the Clintons’ political life where Hillary was her most sympathetic is a risky proposition, even though Hillary Clinton’s role in public life is very different now,” said Republican pollster Kristen Soltis-Anderson.