“One of the chaps across me asked, ‘Did you hear the news?'” recalled Pemberton. “I thought he was going to tell me that a sinkhole opened up in Kentucky and I couldn’t go again. But no: He said, they disinvited Donald Trump. I lost my appetite.”…

Saturday’s burst of anger at Trump was jarring; not everyone at the conference could agree what Trump had even said. Was he making a crude joke about menstruation or wasn’t he?

“It’s wrong to exclude him and insult him on what people interpret he said as opposed to what he said,” said Pemberton. “He was saying that Megyn was seeing blood, in her eyes. As far as ‘blood coming out all over,’ the first thing I think of is not a woman’s menstrual cycle. I think of Jesus Christ, thorns on his head, nail holes in his hands, stigmata.”

Trump’s deputy and surrogate, Michael Cohen, retweeted a tweet from a Trump fan (@hawaiiluvstrump) after the debate that included the hashtag “boycottmegynkelly” and the message “we can gut her.”

Cohen told POLITICO that he does not believe the tweet implied any sort of physical violence but did not back down from his beef with Kelly. “It is interesting to note that the only attacks against Mr. Trump last night came from the moderators,” Cohen said in a statement. “It appeared to all viewers that it was a coordinated effort. Megyn Kelly clearly tried the hardest and failed as Mr. Trump has been deemed the winner of last night’s debate by multiple polls and media outlets.”

The next morning, Stone had to fight Trump’s handlers to meet with him for 15 minutes, prompting the following exchange that both of Stone’s friends tell POLITICO happened:

Stone: “Donald, stop with the Megyn Kelly shit. It’s fucking crazy. It’s killing us.”

Trump: “What do you mean? I won the debate. People loved it.”

Stone: “You didn’t win the debate.”

Trump: “Yes I did. Look at the polling. Look at Drudge.”

Stone: “The Drudge Report poll isn’t a scientific poll. You won’t give me the money to pay for a scientific poll. And you’re off-message.”

Trump: “There are other polls.”

Stone: “Those are bullshit polls, Donald. They’re not scientific polls. We need to run a professional campaign and talk about what people really care about.”

Trump: “We’re winning.”

“I don’t want to be associated with that kind of language,” Bush said [of Trump’s “blood” comments] in an interview following his remarks to RedState this afternoon. Bush was the only GOP presidential hopeful to address Trump’s comments in his remarks to attendees at the RedState Gathering here — others only spoke about them in remarks to the press. He called on Trump to apologize.

I mean, do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53 percent of all voters? That is not how you win elections and worse yet that is not how you bring people together and solve problems, that is not the way you do it. So your decision I think was the right one,” Bush told host Erick Erickson, who disinvited Trump from the event late last night. “Mr. Trump should apologize.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal came out swinging against Donald Trump Saturday. 

“Coarse language and degrading comments are for cowards,” Jindal said in a statement emailed to National Review. “Where I come from we don’t treat people like that.”

Penny Young Nance, the CEO and president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, told CNN that Trump’s “tantrum was even more enlightening than his original remarks she questioned.”

“Does he have a problem with women?” Nance asked in a statement Saturday morning. “Three wives would suggest that yes, maybe there’s a problem. The good news is that Kelly is a mother of toddlers and knows how to deal with petulance and tantrums. Every presidential election since 1964 has been carried by women. Women don’t like mean and we certainly won’t vote for men or women we don’t trust. Trump’s biggest woman problem is how does he convince women to trust him to keep America safe?”

Several prominent Republican women said they were worried that the candidates would only hurt themselves, and the party, if they did not change the substance and style of their remarks at future debates, which will be held monthly this fall and winter…

Jennifer Horn, the Republican chairwoman in New Hampshire, focused her frustrations on Mr. Trump, who leads recent opinion polls for that state’s first-in-the-nation primary.

“Megyn Kelly is an intelligent, successful, educated, professional woman, and the comments and tweets from Donald Trump were demeaning and chauvinistic,” Ms. Horn said. “There’s a big difference between being politically correct and being respectful, and Thursday night Donald Trump was not respectful to women.”

And I saved my favorite 2016 GOP-field response for last, which actually comes from “oh, yeah, he’s running” candidate George Pataki. “Sad but predictable meltdown from Trump,” Pataki tweeted. “With all due respect to @megynkelly the outrage at Trump’s divisive language is long overdue.”

Pataki gently points out what might also be put as: Fucking really? This is what’s “a bridge too far?” Trump has spent the summer calling Mexican immigrants incorrigible rapists, accusing the Mexican government of orchestrating anti-Trump sentiment, and hurling insults at women and men alike if they happen to even hint that Donald Trump, Great American, might not be the best person to “take the brand of the United States and make it great again.” 

Yet condemning noxious statements about immigration and Mexicans is a divisive move for conservative candidates. Sticking up for pretty blonde Republican Fox News ladies, however, and the principle that you shouldn’t randomly accuse women who disagree with you of being on their periods—as much as that last bit might rile some of the more rabid anti-PC right—is a pretty low-risk, high-reward proposition, especially considering the GOP’s ongoing war on the Republican war-on-women trope. But hey—I’ll take a little bit of progress in Republican gender rhetoric where we can get it, and while this whole controversy may be a bit silly and overblown, I think Fiorina, Kasich, et al. have struck the right tone here. 

Yes, the majority of Trump’s support comes not from an admiration for his policy positions but his style. His supporters think he upsets the apple cart, and they so deeply resent that apple cart. But these individuals are now clinging to an ideal that has been thoroughly dispelled. Trump backers in the grassroots, and those in conservative media outlets who would enable their self-delusion are embracing a series of category errors. They mistake rudeness for self-assuredness. They confuse incivility for resolve. They see pugnacity and presume efficacy.

At a certain point, coddling Trump supporters and trying to understand their grievances becomes a futile enterprise. When a loved one is making a terrible mistake that will eventually do them great harm, the priority is not to preserve their fragile self-image. The priority is to save them from themselves, regardless of how bitterly they will resent your efforts. For some Trump backers, no amount of contradictory information will dissuade them from their self-destructive course. For most, however, the carnival barker was exposed last night for what he was. What’s more, the members of his own party exposed him.

[P]olitical correctness is in this case a dodge: The complaint isn’t that Trump violated some rarefied code of conduct dreamed up this morning by the dean of students. As Megyn Kelly reminded him: “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs,’ and ‘disgusting animals.’ . . . You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.” If you think that saying that sort of thing is merely a violation of political correctness and effete coastal liberal etiquette, try it on some dry-land cotton farmer’s wife or daughter and see if you live to boast of your free-spiritedness…

It is the case that the cult of political correctness is very much alive, that it is used to stifle criticism of powerful people and institutions and to render certain thoughts unspeakable. But if your solution to political correctness is to abandon manners and standards of conduct wholesale, then you are simply muddying the waters, making it less likely that we can respond intelligently to the little autocrats when they pipe up…

There is a kind of addiction to frisson at work, one that’s common among commentators and public figures. One is confronted with some po-faced p.c. policeman who insists that it is improper to acknowledge or speak about, e.g., the high rates of welfare dependency among non-whites relative to whites. And maybe one gets a nice little thrill from the squealing when one stomps all over that nonsensical sensibility. All good and fine and merry, but some people develop a jones for that feeling. You’ve all seen it: A man saying perfectly reasonable things about crime or poverty or the Middle East ends up a year or two down the road collecting Rhodesian flags and carefully tracking the number of Jews who have served on the Federal Reserve board. Ask him how and why he became a nutball, and he’ll protest that he has simply been liberated from the surly bonds of political correctness.

This is as good a time as any to make a simple point, one I make to young conservative activists all the time. Just because being rude or crude is un-PC that is not, in itself, a defense of being rude or crude. You would think social conservatives in particular wouldn’t lose sight of this. But many have, at least going by my email and twitter feed. In the debate, Trump defended his long record of piggish comments about women on the grounds that we don’t have time for political correctness. I agree with that. But surely we have time for a modicum of good manners? We are now in the crazy stage where people are shouting at me that I (or Charles Krauthammer, or George Will or Erick Ericson or Kevin Williamson) must be a liberal if I don’t support Trump. Never mind that the objective evidence leans overwhelmingly that support for Trump puts your conservative convictions in doubt. Are we really going to go down the insane path of saying that real conservatives must abandon good manners and respect for women to demonstrate their purity? Count me out of that nonsense.

And, even if you yourself think Trump’s comments are funny or entertaining or not that big a deal or just a gaffe, at least ponder for a second about whether you think they will help Republicans win the presidential election. Everyone loves Reagan. Everyone says we need a great communicator. Well, the point of being a great communicator is to communicate. That is to say, it is to persuade people. If you think that Trump is the right guy for that project, you’re the one who just doesn’t get it.  

Via the Daily Caller.