They don’t mean she lied about a dirty tricks break-in at a hotel called Watergate, but that she’s adopted the former US president’s tactics for defeating an opponent by threatening an action so disastrous it suggests the person making the threat is now irrational. It has come to be known as the “madman theory”.
In Nixon’s case, it was proposing nuclear war to end the Vietnam quagmire – in the prime minister’s world, a crash-out Brexit that would trigger a recession and arguably open the borders to terrorists.
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