A debate that was advertised breathlessly as a heavyweight match between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush unfolded instead Wednesday as a proving ground for an underdog, Carly Fiorina, who nearly did not make the stage at all.
Fiorina’s most memorable moments came as she faced off with Trump, the polarizing frontrunner who has dominated the GOP race for president and media coverage of it. At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library here, he stood once again at center stage.
Asked to respond to Trump’s remark in Rolling Stone magazine about her appearance—The Donald had said caustically, “Who would vote for that face?”— the only woman on stage deftly batted away Trump’s subsequent claim that he was talking about her “persona.”
“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” Fiorina said.
Trump, perhaps proving Fiorina’s underlying point, responded that she “has a beautiful face, and I think she’s a beautiful woman.”