Trump fields a question at last week’s Fox News GOP debate. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Donald Trump is refusing to apologize for his attack on Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, saying only a “deviant” would have concluded that his assertion that she had “blood coming out of her wherever” during last week’s GOP debate was a reference to her period.
“I was referring to nose, ears,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” — one of four Sunday morning talk shows on which the Republican frontrunner appeared. “They’re very common statements.”
Referring to those who assumed he was alluding to her period, he said on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about it. … I cherish women. I want to help women.”
Trump pointed to his real estate business as proof.
“Women are tremendous,” Trump told Stephanopoulos. “And I have many executives that are women. They are doing a phenomenal job. I pay them a tremendous amount of money. They make money for me. They make money for themselves. And in many cases, they truly are really talented and they can be killers.”
On Friday, Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon that Kelly’s questions during Thursday’s GOP debate were unfair.
“You can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, um, blood coming out of her wherever,” Trump told Lemon.
The interview sparked an immediate backlash. Erick Erickson, organizer of this weekend’s annual RedState Gathering in Georgia, disinvited Trump.
“I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump,” Erickson told attendees. “If our standard-bearer has to resort to that, then we need a new standard-bearer.”
Roger Stone, one of Trump’s top political advisers, left the campaign, saying he disagreed with the former “Celebrity Apprentice” host’s “food fight” with Kelly.
And several of Trump’s Republican rivals pounced.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called on Trump to apologize.
“Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all voters?” Bush said at the RedState event. “What Donald Trump said is wrong. That is not how you win elections. Worse yet, that is not how you bring people together to solve problems.”
“There’s no excuse for this,” Carly Fiorina — the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and lone woman in the Republican field — told Fox News Sunday. “You don’t get things done by insulting people.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, however, took a different tack.
“I’ve made a decision here with Donald Trump,” Rubio said on “Meet The Press.” “If I comment on everything he says, my whole campaign will be consumed by it. That’s all I’ll do all day.”
Trump dismissed his critics.
“They want to be politically correct,” he said on CNN. “They want to get points. I’m leading in the polls by a fortune.”