Emails published by WikiLeaks Monday suggest Hillary Clinton's campaign had considered dozens of political attacks against Donald Trump by December of last year, including the plan to bring out Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe whose past treatment at the hands of Trump became the focus of Clinton's closing argument in the first debate.
The emails, obtained illegally from the inbox of Clinton's campaign chair, showed the Democratic National Committee dug into Trump's legal, financial and marital history ahead of the Republican primary in anticipation that he could emerge as the party's nominee.
The DNC compiled hundreds of pages of opposition research against Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz as well.
Many of the planned attacks on Cruz and Rubio mirrored those either Republican would have leveled back at Clinton.
For example, the campaign weighed a plan to attack Cruz for refusing to disclose the amount his father, Rafael Cruz, was paid for speeches, as well as the fact that he once paid a $200 late fee for failing to file his financial disclosure to the Senate on time.
Clinton's team dedicated an entire chapter to the ways Rubio "cashed in on his influence to boost his income."
Democratic operatives collected the most ammunition to use against Rubio. His 431-page research book was far longer than the 201 pages dedicated to Cruz or the 157 pages written about Trump.
The "top narratives" Democrats would have deployed against Rubio included his "reckless" foreign policy and his "troubling record on women's issues." Operatives considered highlighting Cruz's "obstructionist" history in the Senate.
Rubio, Cruz and Trump were each given brief summaries of the themes Clinton would use to tear them down.
For Rubio, that entailed highlighting the areas where Democrats were able to draw the sharpest contrasts, such as climate change and same-sex marriage.
Rubio's record on key issues and his policy proposals make clear that he is just as out of touch with America as the rest of Republican field. Rubio has adopted the same old GOP platforms on immigration, economic, and foreign policy, denies the science behind climate change, would set women backwards, and has fought against protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.
The campaign against Cruz would have focused almost entirely on the stands he took against legislation he wanted to dismantle, such as the pressure he put on Congress to defund Obamacare.
Cruz is a radical, divisive politician who has thus far done little other than block legislation and recklessly gamble with America's economy. His sole accomplishment as a Senator is forcing a government shutdown that cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars, and he has spent the rest of his time burning bridges with his colleagues by hijacking the legislative process for his own personal political gain.
But the DNC concocted the most scathing "top narratives" on which to hammer Trump, focusing on his "fear-mongering, divisiveness and racism," as well as his lifetime pursuit of profit.
One thing is clear about Donald Trump, there is only one person he has ever looked out for and that's himself. Whether it's American workers, the Republican Party, or his wives, Trump's only fidelity has been to himself and with that he has shown that he has no problem lying to the American people. Trump will say anything and do anything to get what he wants without regard for those he harms.
The more than 30,000 Clinton campaign emails published to date have offered an unprecedented window in the operation of the Democratic nominee's bid for president.
The opposition research Clinton obtained in December 2015 provide a roadmap to the bombs she had thrown at Trump in the 10 months since.
For example, her team weighed a criticism of Trump based on 2004 reports that "Trump forced a widow to sell him her house so he could expand the limousine parking lot outside one of his casinos" and researched the overseas production of Trump-branded clothes.
Chapters of the research book focused on the multiple bankruptcies that properties or entities under his corporate umbrella had sought since 1991.
Nearly all of the damaging video clips of Trump in the DNC's possession at that point in the race were taken earlier in 2015, during Trump rallies or media appearances.
However, one dated back to 2011, in which Trump had "compared his opposition to same-sex marriage to his reluctance to use a new kind of putter."