As the GOP race heats up, Donald Trump’s aggressive candor appears to have consequences.
Trump’s bizarre suggestion that Fox News host Megyn Kelly grilled him during the GOP debate because she was menstruating has cost him his seat at the RedState Gathering, a major conservative conference.
After Thursday’s GOP debate, Trump spent most of his evening complaining about Kelly’s questions on Twitter. The Republican presidential candidate then spoke to CNN on Friday, claiming that, as Kelly addressed him during the debate, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her… wherever.”
Trump had been scheduled to appear at the closing event for the RedState Gathering on Saturday night, but was uninvited because of his comment about Kelly. Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative activist who organizes the RedState Gathering, tweeted that he was banning Trump because the remark was “a bridge too far” and that he would invite Kelly to take Trump’s place at the event.
Erickson also wrote in a post on RedState that, although he respected Trump as a blunt talker, “there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross.”
“It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong,” Erickson added.
Trump clarified in a tweet that he had meant to say “nose” instead of “wherever,” while his team told Erickson the candidate had meant to say “whatever.”
Trump and Erickson continued to bicker about the comment on Twitter:
So many "politically correct" fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015
.@redstate I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. "weakness."— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2015
Being banned from the RedState Gathering is the first major backlash Trump has faced from his supporters within the conservative community. “This is the first time that a significant figure in the conservative movement has stood up to Trump and it’s cost him anything,” Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist said to the Guardian.
H/T RedState | Illustration by Max Fleishman