Donald Trump told a Fox morning show on Thursday that he wasn't criticizing Carly Fiorina's physical appearance when he said her "face" made her unelectable as president. He was actually talking about her "persona." That's better, right?
"Look at that face," he said of Fiorina. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"
He continued: "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?" Trump prefaced the insults by admitting she'd previously been "a little nasty" to him.
Trump promptly backtracked on the comments—kind of, sort of, not really—during an interview with the morning show Fox & Friends.
"Probably I did say something about Carly," Trump admitted. Everybody can chill out, though—he wasn't insinuating anything about her actual face. "I'm talking about persona," he argued. "I'm not talking about look."
This isn't the first time Trump has publicly criticized a woman's appearance. Who could forget his comment toward Megyn Kelly at the very memorable first Republican presidential debate, when asked if he was part of the war on women?
"You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs,' and 'disgusting animals,' Kelly said, before Trump interrupted to clarify: "Only Rosie O'Donnell."
Afterward, Trump notoriously alluded to Kelly's menstrual cycle. As with the insult against Fiorina, Trump later backtracked, arguing that "only a deviant" would believe that he was talking about periods.
Despite his increasing string of inane and sexist comments, Trump continues to hold a strong lead in the GOP field, showing 32 percent support among Republicans in a new poll. The negging must be working for him.
Update 9/11: An earlier version of this article misspelled Carly Fiorina's name throughout.
Image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore