2016 GOP field weighs in on Trump's 'blood' comment

Story highlights

  • Trump attempted to clarify his remark Saturday morning
  • Many GOP candidates denounced Trump and expressed their support for Kelly
Watch Jake Tapper's interview with Donald Trump on "State of the Union" Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

Washington (CNN)

GOP presidential candidates on Saturday were quick to condemn Donald Trump's controversial comments about Fox News host and GOP debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
The remarks resulted in an outcry from conservatives and resulted in Erick Erickson disinviting Trump from the RedState Gathering, a conservative event featuring GOP presidential hopefuls this weekend in Atlanta.
    Trump tried to clarify his comments after the interview, tweeting, "Re Megyn Kelly quote: 'you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever' (NOSE). Just got on w/thought"
    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told CNN's Mark Preston that he knew Kelly for six and a half years when he was a Fox News host, and that he was going to "stand for Megyn Kelly."
    "She is one of the most remarkable people I know," Huckabee told CNN. "I would certainly never say anything about a person like that, and I hope he apologizes because I think that he should."
    When asked whether he thinks Trump's comments will affect the race, Huckabee said he has faith that the voters "will sort this out."
    Other GOP presidential candidates -- all of whom are trailing Trump in national polls -- weighed in.
    Former New York Gov. George Pataki tweeted Friday night that the remarks amounted to a "sad but predictable meltdown from Trump. With all due respect to @megynkelly the outrage at Trump's divisive language is long overdue."
    Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, wrote, "I stand with @megynkelly" and "Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse."
    In two tweets signed "SW" -- indicating they were penned by Scott Walker himself -- the Wisconsin governor also backed Kelly.
    "I agree with @CarlyFiorina, there's no excuse for Trump's comments. Stand with @MegynKelly."
    He added that Kelly "is a tough interview. Being POTUS is tougher. @GOP candidates & media need to get back to how we're going to turn US around.-SW"
    South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, ".@RealDonaldTrump unrelenting & offensive comments about @MegynKelly puts the @GOP at a crossroads w/Mr. Trump," adding that he applauds Erickson, who is also a Fox News contributor, for disinviting Trump.
    In a statement, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said "everyone deserves respect and dignity, whether they agree with you or not."
    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry also slammed Trump in a statement, questioning his credentials to be president.
    "Donald Trump has proven once again that he doesn't have the temperament to hold our nation's highest office," Perry said.
    Speaking at the gathering, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Trump should apologize.
    "Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53% of all voters? What Donald Trump said is wrong. That is not how we win elections and worse yet, that is not how you bring people together to solve problems," he said.
    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also speaking at the gathering, said "coarse language and degrading comments are for cowards. Where I come from, we don't treat people like that."
    And former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore tweeted, ".@megynkelly should be given the great respect due her profession and all women. Trump's comments are just plain wrong."
    But just as he did when asked about Trump's questioning of Sen. John McCain's war record last month, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz declined to criticize Trump on Saturday.
    "I think every one candidate should treat everyone with civility and respect. It's a standard I try to follow," Cruz told reporters at the gathering. "I don't think we're going to solve the problems in this country by obsessing over the politics of personality. This is about real challenges facing the American people."