clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Carly Fiorina ad is the perfect comeback to Donald Trump's sexist insults

Update: Coverage of the second Republican debate.

Hand it to Carly Fiorina's superPAC. It figured out how to do something none of the other Republicans vying for the party's nomination could: Make Donald Trump fall flat on his face.

Without mentioning him by name, the Carly for America Committee released a web ad Monday responding to Trump's assertion that no one would want someone with Fiorina's face as president of the United States. The ad, called "Look at This Face," intersperses images of other women with Fiorina speaking at a Republican women's event.

"Ladies, look at this face and look at all of your faces, the face of leadership," Fiorina says. "This is the face of a 61-year-old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle."

It's basically Fiorina's team shaming Trump as sexist, and it's the best comeback to a Trump insult yet.

Why is Carly Fiorina defending her face to Donald Trump?

It all started last week with a Rolling Stone feature on what it's like to be on the campaign trail with Trump:

When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump's momentum, Trump's expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. "Look at that face!" he cries. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!" The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. "I mean, she's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"

Typically, a demeaning insult like that would create a backlash against the candidate who said it. But the old political rules don't always apply to Trump, and Republican candidates have had a hard time figuring out just where the line is and when he's crossed it. Jeb Bush and Ben Carson, for example, have struggled to respond to Trump's taunts about them having "low energy."

But it was clear that Fiorina might have an opening when Trump started backpedaling last week. He said he'd been talking about Fiorina's "persona" and not her face.

"Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls," Fiorina said last week.

By Monday, just a couple of days before the next Republican debate, her superPAC was ready to unload. And while her putative target was Democrats — "Ladies, note to Democrat Party: We are not a special interest group, we are the majority of the nation," Fiorina says in the ad — there's no doubt she was making Trump face up to his own commentary.

Correction: The ad was released by Fiorina's SuperPAC.

VIDEO: Donald Trump on the way he speaks to women

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.