Donald Trump has run into trouble again, after criticising the appearance of a rival candidate – and the only woman in the race – for the Republican presidential nomination.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, published on Wednesday, Trump was reported to have said of Carly Fiorina, while watching her on a news channel: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that?

“Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

Fiorina, speaking on Fox News to Megyn Kelly – who has also been targeted by Trump – said she considered his remarks to be “very serious”.

She added: “Maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit because I am climbing in the polls.”

Trump has forged a consistent lead in polling for the Republican candidacy, with former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Fiorina considerably further behind, polling in single figures.

Trump’s clash with Kelly came after she co-chaired a debate between the Republican frontrunners in August and put him on the spot over his past statements about women, including comments referring to women as “fat pigs” and slobs. Trump later declared that Kelly had had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during her questioning of him.

In the Rolling Stone interview, Trump also repeated comments that had previously led him into hot water, when he claimed he would date his daughter Ivanka if they were not related.

Trump reportedly told Rolling Stone: “She’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, you know, her father …”.

The frontrunner also came under fire from REM lead singer Michael Stipe, who lambasted the Trump campaign for using one of the group’s songs at a rally on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets posted on the account of bandmate Mike Mills, Stipe said: “Go fuck yourselves, the lot of you – you sad, attention-grabbing, power-hungry little men.

“Do not use our music or my voice for your moronic charade of a campaign.”

Trump had arrived on stage to It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).

This article titled “Carly Fiorina hits back after Donald Trump criticises her looks” was written by Claire Phipps, for theguardian.com on Thursday 10th September 2015 04.31 UTC

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