Conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who disinvited 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump from his RedState gathering in Atlanta over the weekend, said Mr. Trump’s comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly aren’t going away.
That’s despite the real estate mogul’s repeatedly insisting he was not referring to Ms. Kelly’s menstrual cycle when he said she had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” in the wake of last week’s Republican presidential debate.
Mr. Erickson wrote early Monday in a blog post that Mr. Trump was doing “damage control” over a “predictable issue”: Mr. Trump’s past comments about women.
“Trump’s response to Kelly showed he did not prepare for the debate, but also put him on defense,” Mr. Erickson wrote. “Within twenty-four hours he was calling Kelly a ‘bimbo,’ which played directly to the stereotype in Kelly’s questioning — a stereotype he could have pivoted by talking about the number of women employed by Trump’s businesses, etc.”
During Thursday evening’s debate, Ms. Kelly had read a list of disparaging remarks about women attributed to Mr. Trump.
“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals,’ ” Ms. Kelly said.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Mr. Trump replied (Ms. O’Donnell tweeted “try explaining that 2 ur kids” in response).
Ms. Kelly went on to say it went well beyond Ms. O’Donnell, saying: “Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.
“Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?” she asked.
Speaking on CNN Friday evening, Mr. Trump said of Ms. Kelly: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” He later said only a deviant would think he was talking about menstruation.
Mr. Erickson went on to write, though, that Mr. Trump’s statement morphed multiple times in a 12-hour period.
“But the story could not move on. The story is not moving on,” he wrote.
Mr. Trump said Monday it wasn’t meant to be much of an insult.
“She asked me a question, it was an inappropriate question, it was a ridiculous question — even the other candidates came up to me and said that was absolutely out of line,” he said on NBC’s “Today” program.
“She asked me a question that was nasty, and I gave her a pretty tough answer,” he said. “I mentioned something in that particular question, that was the Rosie O’Donnell mention, and the room broke out. It was the largest applause of the day by far, and she got very angry during this question because of that, because she couldn’t even finish the rest of the question because the crowd went wild.”
He said he “didn’t even finish the answer [because] I wanted to get onto the next point.”
“What I was referring to, or if I finished it, I was going to say ears or nose, because that’s a common statement … pouring out of your ears. It’s a very common statement,” he said.
“And then the next day, this total lightweight … Erick Erickson, I think his name is, a total lightweight — somebody that’s lost so many races he’s a disgrace, frankly, to conservatives — he figures he’ll get some publicity and he’ll disinvite me,” he said. “But what happened out at RedState, which [was] not even a big deal, but what happened out there is they had virtual riots — the people went nuts when they heard that I wasn’t coming.”
Mr. Trump said it would be “inappropriate” for someone to imply a female journalist was on her menstrual cycle.
“But I didn’t do that — if I did that — first of all, look — I happen to be a smart person. I went to the best schools, I was a great student, I built a great empire, I did ‘The Art of the Deal,’ I did ‘The Apprentice,’ ” he said. “It’s all fueled by the press — by you and the press. It’s ridiculous. Who would say such a thing? Now, if I would have said that, it would have been inappropriate.”
“The interesting thing is I really said nothing, because I stopped — because I wanted to get onto jobs, or whatever the next subject was,” he continued.
Asked about a comment calling Ms. Kelly a “bimbo” that Mr. Trump had shared on Twitter, he said: “I thought the kind of questions she was asking me were inappropriate, and they were the questions that somebody, you could make the case — look, look — I was not asked about jobs, I was not asked about you know, nuclear, I was not asked about … things that other people were asked about.”
“And despite that, almost every poll has me having won the debate. They said I won the debate,” he said. “But I was given the worst … questions of anybody.”
Mr. Trump said that without him on the stage, the viewership of 24 million people would have been 2 million, “and they probably wouldn’t have had that many.”
“So, you know, the other candidates are very lucky, because at least people are watching what they’re saying, as opposed to nobody caring,” he said.
• David Sherfinski can be reached at email@example.com.
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