The Courier-Mail

TRUMP STILL PUMPIN’

Party must ‘stand up to moronic’ comments

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WASHINGTON: Donald Trump, the brash US billionair­e leading the Republican presidenti­al nomination race, is facing a backlash over his latest crude comments – but it doesn’t seem to be affecting his popularity.

The trash-talking tycoon has refused to apologise for suggesting a popular Fox News debate moderator asked him tough questions because she was menstruati­ng.

“She should be apologisin­g to me,” Mr Trump said yesterday, after appearing on several talk-shows to defend his suggestion that Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” as she questioned him during last week’s Republican debate.

But in the first major poll released since the fractious debate, the campaign’s most controvers­ial candidate has remained on top.

Mr Trump earned 19 per cent support, compared with 12 per cent for neurologis­t Ben Carson and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and 11 per cent for Jeb Bush, according to Public Policy Polling’s survey of Republican voters in Iowa.

He has invoked a rebellious, improvisat­ional tone embraced by supporters, and is striking fear into a party establishm­ent keen to see a serious, viable candidate emerge to battle likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump insisted Washington had been consumed by political correctnes­s, and he was bringing a dose of straight-talk to the race.

“There is a difference between avoiding political correctnes­s and being a moron,” Republican strategist Brian McClung said.

Republican candidates and leaders, Mr McClung stressed, “have to stand up and speak out against Trump’s brand of stupidity”.

Ms Clinton has also chimed in, saying that Mr Trump’s comments were “offensive (and) outrageous”.

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