GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says he was talking about rival Carly Fiorina's "persona, not her looks" in published remarks.
WASHINGTON — Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he was talking about GOP campaign rival Carly Fiorina’s “persona, not her looks” in published remarks seen by some as critical of her appearance.
Trump was asked about remarks attributed to him in a Rolling Stone cover story, which was published online Wednesday. It describes an incident in which the billionaire real estate mogul and his staffers are watching TV news. When Fiorina appears on camera, Trump says, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that. Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
In a phone-in interview Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” Trump acknowledged he “probably did say something like that.” But he said, “I’m talking about persona, not about looks,” saying he spoke “in a jocular manner.”
Trump has been criticized for his insults against women. During last month’s GOP debate he was asked about calling some women “fat pigs” and “disgusting animals,” and said he couldn’t remember using such words.
After the debate, he said moderator Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Fiorina dismissed Trump’s remarks during an appearance Wednesday on Kelly’s Fox News show, saying, “Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls.”
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton swiped at Trump on the issue.
“There is one particular candidate who just seems to delight in insulting women every chance he gets,” Clinton told a cheering crowd of several hundred supporters. She named no names but was referring to Trump’s remark that Fiorina’s face would make her unelectable.
“I have to say, if he emerges I would love to debate him,” Clinton said.