UPDATE 5:25 p.m. EDT: In an interview to be broadcast Sunday, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said he isn't going to comment on everything Donald Trump says, saying if he did, "my whole campaign will be consumed by it." Trump has been taking flak for a tweet in which he implied the questions Megyn Kelly asked him in Thursday's debate were hormonal. Rubio said he thinks Kelly is strong enough to deal with Trumps remarks, saying she "can take anything that comes her way."
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Saturday became the latest Republican presidential hopeful to bash fellow candidate Donald Trump for his conduct toward Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Trump drew widespread criticism late Friday when he said Kelly, who moderated the GOP debate, had “blood coming out of her wherever” when she confronted him about past sexist comments.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Graham called Trump’s comments toward Kelly “an affront to all women” and said Republicans should challenge Trump directly or risk alienating potential voters. The GOP leadership’s unwillingness to distance itself from Trump was “like driving by a car wreck without rendering aid,” he added.
“I think we’ve crossed that Rubicon, where his behavior becomes about us, not just him," Graham said. "I hope the party leadership will push hard. I hope that those seeking the nomination to be the standard bearer will unequivocally reject this. People gave Mr. Trump a pass on the [debate] stage. I understand that to a point, but we’ve crossed a line here that can’t be ignored. There can be no more tiptoeing around this.”
Trump’s comment about Kelly came Friday during an interview with CNN. Hours later, he said the “blood” comment was a reference to Kelly’s nose. “Re Megyn Kelly quote: "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" (NOSE). Just got on w/thought,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Graham wasn’t the only GOP candidate to take issue with Trump’s remark. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kelly’s longtime colleague at Fox News, expressed hope Trump would apologize, CNN reported. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said there was “no excuse” for Trump’s comment.
Former New York Gov. George Pataki reacted similarly. “Sad but predictable meltdown from Trump. With all due respect to [Megyn Kelly] the outrage at Trump's divisive language is long overdue,” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump parted ways with Roger Stone, his longtime political adviser, by email on Friday. It’s unclear if Stone resigned from his post or if he was fired.
Meanwhile, Erick Erickson, conservative pundit and editor of RedState.com, uninvited Trump from the RedState Gathering in Alabama this weekend. “I have tried to give a great deal of latitude to Donald Trump in his run for the Presidency,” Erickson wrote on RedState.com . “He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker. He connects with so much of the anger in the Republican base and is not afraid to be outspoken on a lot of issues. But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross. Decency is one of those lines.”
Graham and Trump previously clashed last month, when Trump gave out Graham's private cell phone number at a campaign rally. Graham responded by filming a humorous video of himself destroying cell phones in various ways.