The female co-chair of Donald Trump’s Iowa campaign is firing back against criticism that the real estate tycoon’s comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly were sexist and inappropriate.
Trump raised eyebrows and sparked outrage when he said Kelly, who moderated Thursday’s GOP debate, had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
The remark prompted the host of the conservative gathering RedState to withdraw his invitation to Trump, saying the candidate’s comment on CNN "just was wrong."
Tana Goertz, Trump’s Iowa co-chair, said she did not interpret the comment in the same way critics have, and was not offended. "I've always been treated with dignity and respect," she said.
"I am a woman. I experience that every month. And it never crossed my mind. So I think people are just looking at pinpointing him as sexist and all these other things," Goertz said.
"I mean, we fought to have equal rights, right? So it’s fair game," Goertz said. "If a woman attacks Mr. Trump, he’s going to attack back. Megyn is no exception."
Trump’s political competitors have pounced on the controversy. Scott Walker said "there’s no excuse for Trump’s comments." Carly Fiorina tweeted: "Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse."
Trump’s top political operative and strategist, Roger Stone, resigned. Stone said in his resignation letter that recent controversies have "overwhelmed your core message."
And at Saturday’s RedState Gathering in Atlanta, Jeb Bush said: "Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of our voters?"
Trump has said the questions at Thursday’s debate were unfair, and he bristled at Kelly’s questions about remarks he has made about women. Trump has not been shy about going after his critics — he gave out Lindsey Graham’s personal cell phone number and dismissed Sen. John McCain’s war record.
Goertz dismissed the critics and said, "He’s bulletproof." She said the blunt-talking Trump is projecting his strength during the campaign.
"Right now, if you go after him, he’s sending in the missiles," Goertz said. "Now when he becomes the president, of course he’s going to change his tune. But right now, he doesn’t need to. America loves him."