Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina helped CNN State of the Union host Jake Tapper out of an awkward moment on Sunday when discussing Donald Trump's controversial comments about Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
Tapper was asking Fiorina her thoughts on Trump's much-derided remark that Kelly had "blood coming out of her wherever" during Thursday night's GOP debate. "Do you think that he was specifically referring to Megyn Kelly—I can't believe I'm saying this—having her period?" Tapper asked.
"You know, look," Fiorina responded. "I started out as a secretary. And as I made my way up in the business world, a male-dominated business world, I've had lots of men imply that I was unfit for decision making because maybe I was having my period. So I'll say it, OK?"
Trump also took to the Sunday morning talk shows to explain that he was not suggesting that Kelly was on her period.
“I said—no, blood was pouring from wherever. I wanted to finish the sentence. I wanted to get off of the whole thing and get back on to the subject of jobs or whatever we were talking to about right after that," Trump told Tapper. "So, I didn’t even say anything because I didn’t even finish the thought. I was going to say, nose, and/or ears. Because that’s a very common statement. Blood flowing out of somebody’s nose. It’s a statement showing—and remember she had great anger when she was questioning me, especially since I mentioned something, that was the Rosie O’Donnell statement which everybody said was by far the loudest applause of the entire day of all of the speakers. I think you would agree. She became very angry. All I was doing was referring to her anger. I said nothing wrong whatsoever.”
Fiorina, however, wasn't buying it.
"Women understood that remark. And yes, it is offensive," she said.
She went on to talk about how sexist treatment has already played into her campaign. "I was asked on a national television show whether a woman's hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office," Fiorina said. "My response was, can we think of a single instance in which a man's hormones might have clouded his judgment?"
Hours after Fiorina made her appearance on State of the Union, Trump retaliated on Twitter. "I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than 10 minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!" Trump tweeted. The zinger was favorited more than 4,400 times.
The back and forth with Trump comes after what was seen as a breakout performance for Fiorina on Thursday during the earlier debate for candidates who hadn't performed as well in the polls. Fiorina also appeared on Fox News Sunday and said she's already beginning to see a difference.
“It was a big night for me,” she said, according to the network. “Only 40 percent of Republicans had heard my name. … There’s been an uptick in financial support, in support generally.”