WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump says he can’t recall specifics of insulting women, though news reports paint a long history of him comparing women to animals.
Trump said Friday he doesn’t recognize the words Fox News’s Megyn Kelly used during the first Republican Candidates presidential debate on Thursday. Kelly asked about him having called women “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.”
In the debate, Trump joked that he was only referring to talk show host Rosie O’Donnell but didn’t deny having used the insults.
O’Donnell replied via Twitter, “Try explaining that 2 ur kids.”
“I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness,” Trump said during the debate.
The issue is important because women are a majority of registered voters.
On Friday, Trump questioned whether he actually used those insults.
“You know, some of the statements she made about the women, I don’t recognize those words whatsoever,” Trump said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “We’re going to take a very serious look at it.”
He said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Not that I’m an angel, by the way. But I don’t recognize those words, so you know, she was spewing out these words, and I’m sitting there. — We’re going to have it checked out.”
In fact, news outlets have reported on the incidents Kelly mentioned.
Trump wrote New York Times columnist Gail Collins that she had the “face of a dog,” the columnist wrote in 2011.
Trump called a lawyer “disgusting” when she wanted a break to pump milk for her baby, The New York Times reported last month.
Trump has called O’Donnell a “fat pig,” a “slob” and an “animal,” according to several published reports.
He also called her a loser in a tweet from December 2014.
O’Donnell tweeted in response and called him an ass.
Kelly also mentioned that Trump had once told a contestant on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.
After the debate, “The Kelly File” had Frank Luntz of Luntz Global show results of a live post-debate focus group. The majority of participants had been Trump supporters before the debate, but turned switched afterwards, saying Trump didn’t appear presidential.
Many of the participants said they were disappointed when Trump declined to support the party if he was not the nominee, and wouldn’t rule out a third-party run.
One man said, “He was mean. He was angry. He had no specifics. He was bombastic.”
Trump called Luntz’s so-called “focus groups” a “joke” on Friday.
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