Hillary Clinton hasn't directly responded to Donald Trump's crude comments, but appeared to take a jab at the Republican frontrunner late Tuesday thanks to a question about bullying.
Trump has defended his use of the word "schlonged" in reference to Clinton, saying the term was "not vulgar." That comment — along with calling Clinton's delay in returning to the stage after a bathroom break during this weekend's Democratic debate "disgusting" — has sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Clinton's campaign has said it would not respond to the "degrading language."
At an event on Tuesday, Clinton did not make direct mention of Trump’s crude remark — but did single him out for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and double down on her claim that ISIS is using Trump to recruit.
A question at the end of the Keota, Iowa, event appeared to offer Clinton a chance to hit back.
When a young girl with asthma told Clinton she had been bullied in school and wanted some advice, the candidate responded by saying she had become quite familiar with bullying in her life.
"You're looking at somebody who's had a lot of terrible things said about me,” she said. "I'm old enough that it doesn't particularly bother me but I can’t imagine what it’s like to be, you know, a young person in today’s world where that’s coming at you all the time.”
Though the comment wasn’t clearly aimed at Trump, it could take on new meaning given what he said about her.
In what appeared to be a more direct reference to Trump — though still without mentioning him by name — Clinton also said: “We shouldn’t let anybody bully his way into the presidency because that is not who we are as Americans.”
On Wednesday morning, Trump implied that the question from the girl was staged.
The language between the Clinton and Trump camps had been highly charged even before Trump’s latest round of attacks.
Clinton's top communications aide said earlier Tuesday that the campaign was "not responding" to Donald Trump's comment that the Democratic frontrunner "got schlonged" in the 2008 presidential contest, calling it "degrading language" that others should condemn.
In a tweet, Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said: "We are not responding to Trump but everyone who understands the humiliation this degrading language inflicts on all women should."
Senior spokesperson Karen Finney also weighed in on Twitter.