Trump's Comments May Help To Shine Spotlight On Women's Issues Donald Trump is not apologizing for comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that many say are inappropriate and sexist. That's putting women's issues front and center in the Republican campaign.

Trump's Comments May Help To Shine Spotlight On Women's Issues

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Republicans running for president are eager to turn the conversation to something other than Donald Trump, but that has become difficult after he said this in reaction to questions from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.


DONALD TRUMP: You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her - wherever.

GREENE: Candidates are being asked for their reaction. Not everyone wants to offer it. NPR's Sarah McCammon has more.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Donald Trump says women have plenty of reasons to vote for him.


TRUMP: Women's health issues are such a big thing to me and so important.

MCCAMMON: Speaking on CBS yesterday, Trump tried to redirect the conversation away from the fact that he got booted from a big gathering of conservative activists in Atlanta this weekend. Trump took on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He referred to Bush's comment earlier last week that, quote, "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health."


TRUMP: I'm exactly the opposite. I will be phenomenal to the women. I mean, I want to help women. What Jeb Bush said last week I thought was totally out of order.

MCCAMMON: Bush later said he misspoke. And speaking to hundreds of conservatives at the RedState Gathering on Saturday, he called on Trump to apologize to Megyn Kelly.


JEB BUSH: Do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all voters? What Donald Trump said is wrong.

MCCAMMON: On NBC's "Meet The Press," Ohio Gov. John Kasich also seemed eager to portray himself as on the side of women. He said he has strong women in his family and on his staff.


JOHN KASICH: My campaign manager is a woman. And I've always found that whenever women touch anything, they always make it a little bit better. So it's unfortunate what's happened here. But it's up to me to tell people about me and not be worrying about somebody else.

MCCAMMON: Also appearing on "Meet The Press" was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who praised Kelly but said he was there to talk about issues other than Trump.


MARCO RUBIO: You know, if I comment on everything he says, I mean, my whole campaign will be consumed by it.

MCCAMMON: Rubio was pressed on his position on abortion. He said during Thursday's debate that he has, quote, "never advocated" exceptions for rape and incest in bills restricting abortion, although he has supported legislation in the past with those exceptions. Yesterday, he called such situations horrifying and suggested emergency contraception as a solution.


RUBIO: I also recognize that because of the existence of over-the-counter-morning-after, not to mention medical treatment that's available immediately after the assault, that should be widely available to victims.

MCCAMMON: Meanwhile on CNN, the only woman running for the Republican nomination, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, reiterated her criticism of Trump's statement about Kelly.


CARLY FIORINA: Women understood that comment, and, yes, it is offensive.

MCCAMMON: On another issue important to many women - paid maternity leave - Fiorina says the government should stay out of those decisions. She says many companies already are expanding family leave.


FIORINA: It's pretty clear that the private sector, like Netflix, is doing the right thing because they know it helps them attract the right talent.

MCCAMMON: While others in the Republican field are also trying to win over female voters, Fiorina has been particularly focused on the other woman running for president, staking out a position in the race as the Republican who will, quote, "not pull her punches against Democrat Hillary Clinton." Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Atlanta.

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