The circus surrounding Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly continues, as other conservative candidates scramble to condemn Trump's speculation about from whence Kelly may have been bleeding during Thursday night's GOP debate. The most amazing response, of course, came from Trump himself, whose inexplicably mixed-font email stated that "Mr. Trump said 'blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever' meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics. Only a deviant would think anything else."
Trump went on to declare himself the clear winner of Thursday's debate and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, who disinivted Trump from Saturday night's RedState gathering, "a total loser" with "a history of supporting establishment losers."
In a RedState post Friday, Erickson wrote that he has "tried to give a great deal of latitude to Donald Trump in his run for the Presidency," but "his comment about Megyn Kelly on CNN is a bridge too far."
"I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal," Erickson wrote, inviting Kelly to take Trump's place at the RedState gathering. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are all expected to be there.
Meanwhile, other Republican presidential candidates have been issuing support for Kelly, with varying degrees of wordiness. Carly Fiorinia's late-Friday night Twitter response was a succinct "I stand with @megynkelly" tweet, followed by "Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse." Walker tweeted, basically, "ditto," with a shout-out to Fiorina:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich put out the following statement on Twitter:
The bit about "seeking out different views" may be only so much rhetorical flair, but not a bad statement from Kasich, whom I will begrudgingly admit came across as quite likeable during Thursday night's debate.
Huckabee told CNN that he was going to "stand for Megyn Kelly," adding that "I would certainly never say anything about a person like that, and I hope (Trump) apologizes because I think that he should." South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham tweeted that Trump's "unrelenting & offensive comments about @MegynKelly puts the @GOP at a crossroads w/Mr. Trump" and applauded Erickson for disinviting him from the RedState gathering. "It is better to risk losing w/out @RealDonaldTrump than trying to win w/him," Graham followed up.
And I saved my favorite 2016 GOP-field response for last, which actually comes from "oh, yeah, he's running" candidate George Pataki. "Sad but predictable meltdown from Trump," Pataki tweeted. "With all due respect to @megynkelly the outrage at Trump's divisive language is long overdue."
Pataki gently points out what might also be put as: Fucking really? This is what's "a bridge too far?" Trump has spent the summer calling Mexican immigrants incorrigible rapists, accusing the Mexican government of orchestrating anti-Trump sentiment, and hurling insults at women and men alike if they happen to even hint that Donald Trump, Great American, might not be the best person to "take the brand of the United States and make it great again."
Yet condemning noxious statements about immigration and Mexicans is a divisive move for conservative candidates. Sticking up for pretty blonde Republican Fox News ladies, however, and the principle that you shouldn't randomly accuse women who disagree with you of being on their periods—as much as that last bit might rile some of the more rabid anti-PC right—is a pretty low-risk, high-reward proposition, especially considering the GOP's ongoing war on the Republican war-on-women trope. But hey—I'll take a little bit of progress in Republican gender rhetoric where we can get it, and while this whole controversy may be a bit silly and overblown, I think Fiorina, Kasich, et al. have struck the right tone here.
Anyway, I'll give Trump what he seems to want most always, the last word: