DOVER, N.H. -- Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina Saturday responded further to Donald Trump’s recent derisive comments about her appearance in response to a question about the businessman's contributions to the level of discourse in the 2016 presidential race.
"I think Donald Trump is an entertainer. And I think I am a leader," she told reporters after speaking to a crowd at the Strafford County BBQ & Beer Bash in Dover, New Hampshire. "What I do is talk to the American people about the issues that I care about and I think they hear what I’m talking about."
She confirmed that she does not plan on asking Trump to apologize for his comments because "there's a long line of people asking him to apologize."
Trump was quoted mocking Fiorina in a new interview in Rolling Stone, saying, "Look at that face!? Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!" The magazine indicated Trump and his staff were watching Fiorina on television when the comments were made. Trump later walked back the remarks, suggesting that he was speaking about her “persona,” and not her appearance.
Fiorina took seemingly veiled jabs at Trump on Saturday while speaking to New Hampshire audiences at the Strafford event and also at the Seacoast GOP Women Chili Fest in Stratham.
“We need a president who understands what leadership is,” she told the crowds. “Leadership is not about how big your position or your title is, it’s not about how big your office is, it’s not about how big your airplane, your helicopter, or your ego is. Leadership is about service.”
She left it open how she would react if Trump decides to go after her in Wednesday’s debate. “We’ll see what happens,” she said. “You've seen how I've handled him so far."
Fiorina also called the upcoming CNN debate at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California an “opportunity to introduce myself to all the people who don’t yet know me.” She was upgraded from the “happy hour debate” earlier in the evening to the prime time event, on stage with the top 11 candidates, after CNN changed its poll criteria for the qualification rules.
“Don’t worry,” she told NBC. “I’ll stand out.”