Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday didn’t back away from calling Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton “shrill,” explaining “that the word shrill doesn’t apply to women exclusively.”
He also defended his use of overseas workers at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Palm Beach instead of Floridians.
Trump participated by phone on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program.
The real estate tycoon-turned-reality TV star is still on top of the GOP pack with nearly 33 percent in the Huffington Post national polling average.
On Wednesday, Trump called Clinton shrill at a campaign event in the Charleston Convention Center in South Carolina. As The Washington Post noted:
Trump is often criticized for the way he describes women, and Clinton was not the only woman he reproved. He said Caroline Kennedy is too nice to be the ambassador to Japan. He described, at length, a “vicious, vicious woman” in her 80s who once sued him during a dispute over an apartment. And he yet again called the career of former technology executive Carly Fiorina, another Republican running for president, “a disaster.”
When BBC World News America anchor Katty Kay challenged him on it, Trump said, “I think the word shrill doesn’t apply to women exclusively. I know men that are shrill, and it’s just an expression that I thought of … She’s gotten very loud and very boisterous and that can happen to men, too, Katty.”
“It’s just, you know, you never hear people say it about men,” Kay said.
Trump responded, “I don’t know, there’s something going on with her. There’s really something going on. I think she’s going to make a terrible candidate just as she was a terrible secretary of state.”
He also said he “would call (Kentucky U.S. Sen.) Rand Paul shrill. I think he’s shrill. I don’t think that’s a term that applies exclusively to women at all.” Paul is also running for the GOP nomination.
MSNBC commentator Mike Barnicle then questioned Trump’s request of visas for foreign labor at Mar-a-Lago, where they’re paid an average of $10-$12 an hour, “rather than hiring workers from Florida.”
“Mar-a-Lago is a seasonal job, which is very hard to get people in Florida for seasonal jobs,” he said. “And during the season in Palm Beach, it’s very, very hard to get help. You can’t, you know, we’re talking about Mar-a-Lago; the club is closed for the summer. You know, the expression ‘Rich people don’t like heat.’
“And we close Mar-a-Lago and we open October – like October 1st,” Trump added. “And from that, for about a five-month period during what they call the Palm Beach Season, which is a big deal, you can’t get help. So we tend to get help from different places including Europe. And we’ve been doing that – by the way, these are all legal visas.”
Trump also slammed Fox News again, saying it ignored his standing in the latest Florida poll. Trump had said the network was treating him “unfairly” and wouldn’t make any more appearances on its news shows.
“The Florida poll came out and the headline was that (Marco) Rubio surges past (Jeb) Bush,” he said. “And I said I guess that’s too bad; I guess I’m not in the poll.
“Well, I had 31.5 percent,” Trump added. “They were down in the teens. And I said that’s sort of an amazing thing. That’s an amazing headline. It’s Rubio surges past Bush is the headline and I’m the one that’s leading the poll by a lot.”