September 11, 2015

An article in Rolling Stone quoted Trump sneering at Carly Fiorina’s face and asking if anyone would “vote for that” face. But not one of the three Fox & Friends cohosts challenged Trump when he insisted he was talking about Fiorina’s “persona.”

Here’s the paragraph from the September 9 Rolling Stone article:

With his blue tie loosened and slung over his shoulder, Trump sits back to digest his meal and provide a running byplay to the news. Onscreen, they’ve cut away to a spot with Scott Walker, the creaky-robot governor of Wisconsin. Praised by the anchor for his “slow but steady” style, Walker is about to respond when Trump chimes in, “Yeah, he’s slow, all right! That’s what we got already: slowwww.” His staffers at the conference table howl and hoot; their man, though, is just getting warm. When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. “Look at that face!” he cries. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

I highly recommend the entire piece, by the way, as it’s quite a substantive look at Trump’s history and gives an insight into his success as a candidate so far.

In a lengthy interview on Fox & Friends today, Trump first tried to suggest he had been misquoted about Fiorina. Trump claimed that Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner “got involved and I think he really screwed up my story.” Trump also said that the author, Paul Solotaroff, “called me and told me that he was embarrassed.” Trump added, “He said things in there that were very incorrect, things I didn’t say but that’s OK.” Then Trump continued, “I mean, overall, it was probably a pretty good story.” He praised the photos, calling them “among the best I’ve ever had, that maybe is more important.”

Later, Trump admitted that the quote was correct, but misunderstood, and then suggested that even if he had been talking about Fiorina's looks, he was justified because of what people say about his hair.

TRUMP: Probably, I did say something like that about Carly. I’m talking about persona, I’m not talking about look, although when I get criticized for my hair, which isn’t that bad… nobody does a story about, “Oh, isn’t that terrible, they criticized Donald Trump’s hair.”

Excuse me, but “Look at that face!” and “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” are not the words of someone talking about a “persona.”

Yet each of the three Fox & Friends cohosts bought the ridiculous excuse. Or at least, none of them wanted to challenge Trump.

Later, Trump all but admitted he had attacked Fiorina’s appearance, but it was all in good fun. Again, he suggested he was justified.

TRUMP: The fact is, I probably did say that about Carly or something about – in a jocular manner, obviously. But if you look at Carly, who came out by the way very low in the new CNN poll… number one, she’s hitting me constantly, because as you know, I’m a counter puncher… and you look at her record.

…(She’s) one of the worst CEOs, virtually, ever. When she was at Hewlett-Packard, she destroyed jobs, she destroyed the stock price, the company went to hell, they walked her out, she got fired and if you look at her before Hewlett-Packard, she was at a company called Lucent. That was a bigger disaster, I believe, than Hewlett-Packard. Then she ran, after she got fired from Hewlett-Packard, she ran for the senate in California against Barbara Boxer. She was defeated soundly in a landslide and now she’s running for president and everyone says, “Oh well.”

This time, Kilmeade chimed in to help validate Trump’s blatantly bogus cover story. “So what you’re saying is, you didn’t comment about her physical appearance, you were commenting about the way she holds herself,” Kilmeade said.

Trump interrupted: “The persona, the persona and I say that about a lot of people. I say ‘Look at that, that’s not our president, that’s not going to be our president.’ …I’m talking about her persona. I’m not talking about anything else and her persona doesn’t work.”

Even before Trump appeared, Fox & Friends signaled they were ready to support Trump by questioning whether Rolling Stone had written a hit piece.

(Crossposted at Newshounds)

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