Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he was talking about Carly Fiorina’s “persona” and not her looks when he attacked the Republican rival’s physical appearance in a magazine profile.
"Probably I did say something like that about Carly," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Thursday morning. "I'm talking about persona. I'm not talking about look."
The Rolling Stone cover story, published online Wednesday, describes an incident in which Trump and his staffers are watching TV news. When Fiorina appears on camera, Trump says: "Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!"
Trump continues: "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
Trump has been criticized for his insults against women. During last month's GOP debate he was asked about calling some women "fat pigs" and "disgusting animals," and said he couldn't remember using such words.
After the debate, he said moderator Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
Fiorina dismissed Trump's remarks during an appearance Wednesday on Kelly's Fox News show, saying, "Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls."