EXETER, N.H. – Donald Trump’s remarks about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are offensive, but the rest of the Republican field is equally offensive, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.
“What Donald Trump said about Megyn Kelly is outrageous, but what the rest of the Republicans are saying about all women is also outrageous,” Clinton said. “They brag about slashing health-care funding, they say they would force women who have been raped to carry their rapist’s child,” and fail to put forward proposals that would help women earn equal pay.
Clinton was referring to comments Trump has made since Thursday’s Republican primary debate. The Republican front-runner has criticized Kelly’s debate questions as unfair to him and questioned her journalistic credentials. He also appeared to jokingly blame Kelly’s menstrual cycle for her treatment of him, although he has denied that is what he meant.
“I think the guy went way overboard. Offensive, outrageous, pick your adjective,” Clinton told reporters following a campaign event here focused on making college more affordable.
“But what Marco Rubio said has as much of an impact in terms of where the Republican Party is today as anybody else on that stage, and it is deeply troubling.”
Clinton repeatedly pointed to the Florida senator’s remark during the debate appearing to oppose all abortions, including those performed in cases where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
“When one of their major candidates, a much younger man, the senator from Florida, says there should be no exceptions for rape and incest, that is as offensive and as troubling a comment as you can hear from a major candidate running for the presidency,” Clinton said. “The language may be more colorful and more offensive, but the thinking, the attitude, toward women is very much the same. It just is delivered in a different package.”
Clinton also said Trump is “having the time of his life,” and that his political showmanship amounts to “entertainment.” She laughed off her attendance at Trump’s 2005 wedding, saying she was supposed to be in Florida anyway, and decided to go to the wedding “because it’s always entertaining.”
Trump had said during the debate that Clinton came to the wedding because she was beholden to him as a result of his political and charitable donations. Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri had said at the time that the remark would hurt Clinton’s feelings. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton were photographed at the event laughing and talking with Trump and wife Melania Knauss.
Trump is a major real estate developer in New York and thus was a prominent constituent in 2005, when Clinton was a New York senator. Asked whether she was now seeing a side of Trump she did not know, Clinton responded quickly.
“I didn’t know him that well. I mean, I knew him. I knew him, and I happened to be planning to be in Florida and I thought it would be fun to go to his wedding because it’s always entertaining,” Clinton said. “Now that he’s running for president, it’s a little more troubling.”
Trump deserves the backlash he is getting, Clinton said.
“But if we focus on that, we’re making a mistake. What a lot of men on that stage said in that debate was offensive, and I want people to understand that if you just focus on the biggest showman on the stage, you lose the thread here.”
Asked about the possiblity that Vice President Biden would enter the race and challenge her own front-running position, Clinton demurred.
“I consider him a friend. We were colleagues in the Senate. I have the highest affection and respect for him,” Clinton said. ” I think we should all just let the vice president be with his family and make whatever decision he feels is right for him.”