Carly Fiorina said Donald Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly “were completely inappropriate and offensive” and were clearly meant to imply the Fox News host’s tough questions were a result of menstruation.
“Women understood that comment. And yes, it is offensive,” Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive, said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper aired Sunday on “State of the Union.”
Trump is under fire for saying Friday night that Kelly, who pressed him on his previous attacks on women during Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate, had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her – wherever.” Several GOP contenders blasted Trump’s attack on Kelly over the weekend – and Fiorina piled on Sunday.
“I started out as a secretary. And as I made my way up in the business world, a male-dominated business world, I’ve had lots of men imply that, um – I was unfit for decision-making because maybe I was having my period. So I’ll say it, OK?” Fiorina said.
“When I started this campaign, I was asked on a national television show whether a woman’s hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office,” she said. “My response was, can we think of a single instance in which a man’s hormones might have clouded his judgment?”
Other Republicans hit Trump on Saturday. Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore were among the candidates who defended Kelly and criticized Trump.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich also pushed back against Trump on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “I don’t appreciate what he said,” Kasich said.
“I’ve got strong women in my family, I’ve got strong women in my administration, and I’ve got strong women in my campaign – in fact, my campaign manager is a woman,” he said. “I’ve found that whenever women touch anything, they clearly make it better than we do as guys.”
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that there “may be a difference between political correctness and, you know, courteous speech – there is a difference,” implying that Trump had crossed a line.
“In no way do I advocate, you know, saying mean things about people,” he said. “That has nothing to do with political correctness.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio defended Kelly on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” but said he won’t comment on what Trump said because if he weighed in every time the real estate mogul made a controversial remark, “my whole campaign will be consumed by it.”
He said Trump will have to answer for his own comments, but acknowledged that his presence helped attract a record-breaking 24 million viewers to Thursday night’s debate.
“We beat Sharknado,” Rubio said. “That’s not bad.”