Donald Trump doubled down on Thursday amid criticism from his rivals over comments about fellow Republican contender Carly Fiorina’s appearance.
In a Rolling Stone profile of Trump published Wednesday, journalist Paul Solotaroff described witnessing Trump mock Fiorina’s appearance while watching clips of Fiorina on television.
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president,” Trump said, according to the publication. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
On Thursday, Trump repeatedly denied that he was talking about Fiorina’s appearance, saying that he was instead discussing her “persona.”
“I’m talking about persona, I’m not talking about look,” Trump said on Fox News, where he also said that his comments were made in a “jocular manner.”
Trump echoed his comments on CNN, also pointing out that no one was upset when candidates made fun of his hair, which he re-emphasised is real.
“I’m not looking for anyone to defend me,” Trump said. “I’m just saying, when she and other people hit me on things, nobody ever comes to my defence.”
In what’s becoming a routine following Trump’s controversial statements, the real-estate mogul’s presidential rivals quickly jumped on his comments.
On Thursday, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who has been locked in an increasingly heated battle with Trump lately, lashed out on Twitter.
Trumps demeaning remarks are small and inappropriate for anyone, much less a presidential candidate. Carly & country deserve better. Enough
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) September 10, 2015
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), usually reserved in his criticism of Trump and other Republican candidates, also criticised Trump directly.
For her part, Fiorina responded Wednesday evening, saying that her rise in the polls was spooking Trump.
“Maybe I’m getting under his skin a little bit because I’m climbing in the polls,” Fiorina said in an interview on Fox News.
Trump’s comments about Fiorina are the latest in a long history of controversial and inflammatory comments about women. Trump has repeatedly mocked comedian Rosie O’Donnell’s physical appearance, and was locked in a highly personal feud with Fox News host Megyn Kelly after the first Republican presidential debate last month.
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