Donald Trump gave an interview to the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd during which the GOP front-runner was actively trying to soften his image with women, while still refusing to acknowledge that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had any right to come after him at the first GOP debate. (He even had his assistant triumphantly hand Dowd a copy of New York national affairs editor Gabriel Sherman’s recent piece reporting that Fox News chief Roger Ailes had been forced to side with Trump in order to woo him back to appearances on the network.) Trump remarked that his wife and daughter have told him they want more women to see him as the non-misogynist they do, and he thus declared, “I have many women executives and they are paid at least as much as the men … I find women to be amazing.” He also insisted that he would never comment on the looks of a female politician, though he did point out that Heidi Klum is “no longer a 10,” and complained about Carly Fiorina’s “staccato” voice.
Trump also got into why he would or would not be combative with other candidates — or anyone, for that matter. Assuring Dowd that he was not a bully, Trump called himself a “counterpuncher,” noting how “I can’t hit people who don’t hit me. Maybe that’s my weakness.” Added Trump, “The way to do best with me is to be really nice to me.”