The second Republican presidential debate is going to be on Wednesday, and this means that Donald Trump is going to be face to face with Carly Fiorina for the first time ever. The first Republican debates featured Trump on the second half of the debate, which was later in the evening, with Fiorina being on the earlier debate of the late afternoon. This is also the first time that we will see these two come head to head after Trump made some not so pretty comments about Fiorina in the past week.
Trump criticized Fiorina in an interview of with Rolling Stone, talking about “Look at that face!” and “Would anyone vote for that” as he watched the only female Republican talk on the television. Trump then said that listening to Fiorina gave him a “massive headache” and that she was “viciously” fired from Hewlett-Packard. After these comments, Trump came out to defend himself saying he was not talking about her looks like everyone just assumed he was, and rather was just talking about her leadership abilities. Trump has had to defend himself on this issue numerous times since the Rolling Stone comments came out, but he did not apologize or back down. In recent interviews he has talked about not apologizing, but did say, he would apologize the day he was proven wrong, otherwise it is political correctness run a muck.
What is really interesting here is that never before in American politics has a candidate had to personally confront the female that he was regarded as being sexist towards, and some say Trump is acting like a bully, which means Fiorina will be able to personally confront her accuser. Fiorina has been bragging leading up to this week that she is just getting under Trump’s skin because she was surging in the polls after the first debate, and went from a no-name to a possible real candidate moving forward. She has taken everything in stride regarding Trump’s comments, mostly brushing them off, although she has thrown in a few shots at the guy who is the Republican front-runner known for his brass comments and bluntness. More often than not, a political strategist will tell the male candidates to use caution as they debate a female rival, but somehow it seems that probably won’t be something Trump will be doing, nor is it likely he would listen if someone told him to be cautious when debating the female candidates. For voters and most Americans, this means there is going to be showdown at the debates Wednesday night, with Fiorina having time to speak her mind in a very public forum, while Trump will most likely double down on his talk as he is known to do when confronted with his past comments. While the surge of Dr. Ben Carson in this race should be noted and something to watch on Wednesday, the Trump-Fiorina situation seems to be the more interesting subplot of the entire night.
Trump is no stranger to defending his comments, as in the first debate he had to defend his comments when he called women “fat pigs” although Trump said this was a comment meant for his long-time nemesis Rosie O’Donnell and not a general statement. Trump also got into it with the Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly, talking about “blood coming out of her eyes, and blood coming out of whatever” which seemed to insinuate he was talking about Kelly PMS’ing because of her menstrual cycle. That of course did not sit well with a lot of the other candidates because Kelly is beloved by many, and it led to more charges of Trump being sexist and misogynistic. Trump then defended himself by saying he cherished women and loved women, with them holding high ranking jobs within his business. He also said if he was elected he would protect women, so there is definitely going to be some fireworks as the only female Republican candidate takes the stage with the other big names in the debate.
Since Fiorina has been surging in the polls, it has allowed her to be in the upcoming debate, one in which she was at first not scheduled to have a space at. The Trump controversy has only made it that much more appealing for the up and coming candidate to stand on that floor by Trump and speak her mind. In the first debate, even though it was mostly filled with the no chance candidates, she stood out clearly as the winner in the minds of most people, and that is when her popularity began to jump. The issue that the Republicans are looking at now is how Trump will do against Fiorina. After all, the big debate is going to be against Hillary Clinton as it seems she is sure to wrap the Democratic nomination. People are intrigued by Trump, wondering how will he handle Fiorina when she is right in the room with him, and whether he will come back with smart thought out replies or aim for more personal attacks. How Trump fairs against Fiorina is going to be a test, since whoever the nominee is will have to be smart and strong when facing Clinton down the road. For Trump, this could end up a make or break test to see if he has what it takes to debate a woman in a wise manner. Trump also cannot come off as being sexist either, since this could hurt him in the polls if women feel he is not really up with their cause, and it could cause Republican voters to rethink having Trump in a head to head with Clinton. The main goal is to beat Clinton, so if Trump falters on debating Fiorina, who has nowhere near the political experience of Clinton, then people might begin to question him grabbing the nomination. There is one thing though that might hinder Fiorina in this debate, which is that she does not have the staff or aides that a lot of other candidates like Jeb Bush have waiting in the wings. She has a bare-bones staff, which means she is going to have to dig harder to come up with the zingers and be quick on her feet, especially if she wants to take away some of Trump’s appeal. If there is a candidate that might stop the Trump from gaining the nomination, it could be Fiorina, and it could be now, and some experts say this could be the defining moment of Fiorina’s career.
Beyond the typical scope of the debates, both Trump and Fiorina have business backgrounds, and this will also eventually come up at some point. Both are skilled when it comes to business, both have very little in political backgrounds, so there is a common ground here that they can hammer each other on, which is running a business and being a part of a successful business. It looks like it will be an exciting debate, one filled with mystery and a sense of wonderment as these two who have been taking shots at each other finally meet, which is in a way a bit of untested waters for both candidates.