Last night's GOP debate was a little rough. The ten men standing on the stage talked about some heated issues, but one of the most memorable parts of the evening may have been the snideness with which the candidates treated Megyn Kelly. Trump seemed to have the biggest bone to pick with the longtime Fox anchor, and he did little to hide his derision when she asked him a question about his history of disparaging women. "Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don't use a politician's filter," Kelly said. "However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.'" Trump interjected with a mean-spirited comment about Rosie O'Donnell, but Kelly wasn't dissuaded from finishing her line of questioning. "Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"
It's a good question — one that Trump will have to answer one of these days without his usual flippancy — and the wrong response could cost him dearly. A recent CNN/ORC national poll found that 60% of women think unfavorably of the mogul. Hillary is still taking the lead when it comes to the female vote, beating Trump by 28 points and Jeb Bush by 15. Trump tried to evade the question. "I don't have time for political correctness," he told Kelly, adding that America doesn't either. But while his pivot may have won a round of applause from the audience, it didn't help him make any gains with women. Being too busy for political correctness isn't an excuse for blatant sexism, and demeaning the only woman participating in the debate, albeit as a moderator, wasn't just poor form — it was telling of Trump's attitude toward women in general. The current GOP frontrunner didn't stop there, either. After the debate ended, he couldn't help himself from calling Megyn Kelly derogatory names on social media and critiquing her ability to moderate. "Wow, @megynkelly really bombed tonight. People are going wild on Twitter! Funny to watch," he wrote, going on to call her "Not very good or professional." He then went on to retweet a comment calling Kelly a "bimbo."
Trump's comments actually couldn't be further from the truth: Today, the internet heralded Megyn Kelly as the overall winner of the debate despite the fact that she isn't even running. She was a consummate professional. She remained poised and focused, and elicited answers to her questions, even when candidates were aggressive or evasive. She didn't shy away from tough questions, either. At one point, she posed a particularly tenacious one to Scott Walker: "Would you really let a mother die rather than let her have an abortion?" By cutting through to the heart of an issue, Kelly left a lot of viewers wondering if she might be a better conservative to have behind the podium.