WATCH ABOVE: Fox News host Megyn Kelly challenged GOP candidate Donald Trump about some of the his past comments about women, Trump responded by taking a shot at Rosie O’Donnell.
Everyone expected Donald Trump to be, well, outspoken in the first Republican debate Thursday night, and he didn’t disappoint on that front. In true Trump style, the Republican frontrunner walked away on and off the stage in Cleveland with fighting words and sparking a Twitter war on two fronts.
The Fox News hosts moderating didn’t give Trump a free pass on his past and present antics, but it was Megyn Kelly who called the billionaire to task over using words like “pig” and “slob” to refer to some women.
“Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don’t use a politician’s filter,” Kelly said to Trump, standing centre stage among nine other presidential hopefuls. “However, that is not without its downsides. In particular, when it comes to women. You call women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
Trump interjected that he had only used such words in reference to comedian and former co-host of The View Rosie O’Donnell, whom he’s sparred with on many occasions.
O’Donnell, for her part, handled it in stride and didn’t engage. In a simple tweet, she wrote: “try explaining that 2 ur kids.”
Kelly called Trump out on his attempt at humour, which did get cheers from many in the audience at the Quicken Loans Arena, and said his disparaging remarks to women go well beyond that.
“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,” Kelly said to Trump. “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 was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?”
Trump rallied back, as has all along, that he doesn’t “have time for total political correctness.”
“And frankly, what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say. And honestly Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.”
Seems kinda diplomatic of The Donald.
That was, of course, short-lived: Trump put Kelly in his sights later that evening and, on Twitter, added one more derogatory comment to the long list of terms she had rattled off earlier.
And here are a few more jabs he took at The Kelly Filehost and the debate itself.
Aside from calling her a “bimbo,” he also called her “overrated and angry” and suggested she had a “hidden agenda.”
Fox News has a quite open agenda in supporting the Republican Party. But Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News parent company Newscorp, has slammed Trump over some of his most controversial comments — about immigrants from Mexico.
Reaction to Trump calling Kelly a “bimbo” and slamming her performance as moderator was as divided as every remark Trump makes — with those who herald his brashness no matter whose toes he’s stepped on coming to his defense, while his critics lament the continued run of the most popular sideshow U.S. politics has seen in years.