Donald Trump on Sunday defended his stance on women and said he would be their best advocate if elected president, dismissing the firestorm of his own making that has consumed the Republican presidential campaign.
“I apologize when I’m wrong, but I haven’t been wrong. I said nothing wrong,” said Trump, who called in to four Sunday news shows, skipping only Fox News, the network with which he is feuding. “I’m leading by double digits, so maybe I shouldn’t change,” he boasted to NBC.
Trump’s unconventional, insurgent campaign has excited many anti-establishment conservatives while confounding party leaders already facing the prospects of a bruising fight among 17 candidates.
The latest controversy started Thursday night when Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly recounted Trump’s history of incendiary comments toward women.
Angry over what he considered unfair treatment at the debate, Trump made a rude and offensive remark about Ms. Kelly.
That remark cost Trump a prime-time speaking slot at the RedState Gathering, the Atlanta conference where several other presidential candidates spoke to about 1,000 conservative activists.
Jeb Bush, the presidential favorite for many top Republican donors, said at RedState that Trump’s bombast would hurt the GOP’s chances with women, who already tilt toward Democrats in presidential elections. “Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of our voters?” the former Florida governor asked.
Other candidates criticized Trump; some sought to avoid giving him more of their time.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the only woman running for the GOP nomination, was among the first to speak out.