It's been nearly two weeks since the first GOP debate was held in Cleveland on Aug. 6, when plenty of candidates engaged in heated exchanges during both the prime-time debate and the pre-debate forum. Their verbal sparring didn't stop once the debate ended, but there has been no stronger a fight than the one between Republican front-runner Donald Trump and fast-rising GOP star Carly Fiorina. Perhaps the best way to illustrate the war of words between the two candidates is via a timeline of Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump's feud.
Prior to the debate, Fiorina did her best to set herself apart from Trump while he had little to say about her. They have since fought about everything from Trump's comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly to how they both should conduct themselves. They even went so far as to comment on each other's business ventures outside of politics. Even though both candidates could better spend their energy detailing where they stand on key issues and trying to attract voters, their feud appears to show no signs of stopping anytime soon. For their efforts, both have stayed in the news and both are seeing their poll numbers rise. According to a recent Fox News poll, Trump is still No. 1 among Republican voters with 25 percent popularity while Fiorina has risen to sixth place with 5 percent popularity.
June 17, 2015: Similar Candidates
One of the first statements that Fiorina ever made about Trump was how the two candidates were similar. Both have more experience in business than in politics and may even have some similar ideals given their shared political party. Speaking on CNN's New Day, Fiorina had this to say about her fellow candidate:
I think Donald Trump — who shouldn't be underestimated by the way — I think he's hitting on issues that Americans care about. ... Eighty-two percent of Americans now believe we have a professional political class that's more focused on its own power, privilege, and position than doing the people's work and so I think that they are open to someone with experience such as myself who actually knows what it takes to get a bureaucracy under control.
July 7, 2015: Different Kind Of Republican
During a campaign stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Fiorina made it clear that she does not align herself with Trump, telling reporters that "he doesn't represent me, and he doesn't represent my party." She further tried to explain Trump's antics when pressed by reporters. Fiorina said:
You know Donald Trump is what he has always been, a tireless self-promoter. So he's going to say lots of outrageous things, as he always does.
Amazingly, Trump stays silent for a full month following her statements. Perhaps he was too focused on dealing with the fallout from his choice words on immigration and John McCain to respond.
Aug. 6, 2015: Changing Opinions
Following the GOP pre-debate forum, Trump calls Fiorina "an effective debater" and praises her performance. Meanwhile, Fiorina skewers Trump's alleged flip-flopping on important issues during that very debate:
I think he's tapped into an anger that people feel. They're sick of politics as usual. You know, whatever your issue, your cause, your festering problem that you hoped would be resolved, the political class has failed you. That's just a fact and that’s what Donald Trump taps into. I'll just say this. Since he has changed his mind on amnesty, on health care and on abortion I would just ask, "What are the principles by which he will govern?"
Aug. 7, 2015: The Megyn Kelly Debate
Trump's sexist comments about Kelly following the GOP debate roils the Republican Party. During the GOP debate, Kelly asked Trump about his consistently misogynistic insults against women, only for Trump to interrupt her. He then further criticized the Fox News journalist during an interview with CNN by saying she had blood coming out of her "wherever." Fiorina, the only female candidate on the right, tweets her disgust at what Trump had to say, adding "I stand with Megyn Kelly."
Aug. 9, 2015: More Sexist Statements
Trump responds days later with one of his standard insulting tweets. "I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!" Trump said.
Aug. 14, 2015: Getting Down To Business
During a New Hampshire rally on Friday, Trump went after multiple fellow Republican candidates, including Fiorina. Speaking about their burgeoning feud, Trump said that "Carly was a little nasty" to him while also passively insulting her in an incredibly sexist way. Trump said:
Be careful, Carly. Be careful. But actually, I can't say anything to her because she's a woman, and I don't want to be accused of being tough on women. I promised I wouldn't say that she ran Hewlett-Packard into the ground. I said I would not say it. That her stock value tanked. That she laid off tens of thousands of people and she got viciously fired. I said I would not say it. And that she then went out and ran against Barbara Boxer for senator of California, and it's a race that should have been won, and she lost in a landslide, and I said, I will not say that, OK? So I'm not going to say it.
Aug. 15, 2015: More Business Chatter
Trump digs even deeper when insulting Fiorina during a stop at the Iowa State Fair. He singles out Fiorina's experience at Hewlett-Packard as one of her major downfalls. Fiorina was ultimately fired as CEO of the tech company following a failed merger with Compaq that sent HP's stocks plummeting. In describing Fiorina during that time, Trump is incredibly condescending:
She's a very nice woman, she got fired, she did a terrible job at Hewlett-Packard, she lost in a landslide — other than that, she's a very nice woman.
The Republican front-runner further reiterated his statements when speaking with The New York Times' Maureen Dowd for her recent Sunday column:
She's a fine woman but it's not gonna happen. She was viciously fired from Hewlett-Packard and the company still hasn't recovered. The stock went down to nothing.
Aug. 17, 2015: On The Defense
Fiorina responds to Trump by harping on her business experience as a positive attribute despite the revenue numbers she highlights reflecting little. In an interview with ABC News, Fiorina had this to say:
Donald Trump's gone after just about everybody. He's entitled to, obviously. But I guess what I would say is that Hewlett-Packard is a publicly traded company, so the results are there for everybody to see. ... I led the business from about $44 billion to almost $90 billion. We quadrupled the top line revenue growth rate in the middle of the biggest technology recession in 25 years. We tripled innovation to more than 11 patents a day. We went from lagging behind to leading in every product category in every market segment.
Trump has yet to respond to Fiorina's claims of leading a successful business while at the helm of HP. The real estate mogul has also had his share of business difficulties, having filed for bankruptcy a total of five times. His most recent Chapter 11 filing was in 2014.
The two candidates appear to be increasing their frequency of insults against each other with no real sign of stopping. Though there are indeed many similarities between the two presidential hopefuls, they may never reach a middle ground unless one considers the other as a running mate later down the line. Which might not be too far-fetched of an idea.