Despite believing that he “won” the inaugural 2016 GOP presidential debate in Cleveland Thursday night, frontrunner businessman Donald Trump walked away feeling the Fox News debate moderators had been unduly harsh in their questioning of him, saving most of his ire for host Megyn Kelly who put him on the spot for his overt sexism.
Kelly hit Trump hard with her first question, asking, “You’ve called women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals…'” before being interrupted by Trump.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump smirked, prompting applause and laughter from the crowd.
“No it wasn’t,” she replied. “For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell. 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?”
Trump brushed her off, saying he didn’t have “time for political correctness,” adding, “And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.”
Again and again the moderators, including Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, pressed Trump for tough answers –including whether he would pledge to run as a third party candidate — only for him to parry with his patented bombast.
After the debate he told assembled reporters, “The questions to me were far tougher, and that I — supposedly, according to what everyone’s telling me, I won the debate, according to the call-ins and everything. But the questions to me were not nice, I didn’t think they were appropriate, and I think Megyn behaved very badly personally,” reported Buzzfeed.
Trump called Kelly’s question “unfair,” but said that he would not be taking it up with her boss, Roger Ailes.
On Twitter, Trump’s outspoken attorney Michael Cohen raged against the Fox machine — including the after-debate voter panel discussion hosted by pollster Frank Luntz — tweeting: “A total setup by @FrankLuntz and #FOXNEWSDEBATE to try to lower #Trump2016 high poll numbers. American people will not fall for your tricks.”
According to Trump, he won the debate regardless of Fox’s shenanigans.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) August 7, 2015
Later in the evening, Trump approvingly tweeted out another post calling Kelly a “bimbo.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2015
Clip of Kelly & Trump exchange below via Fox: