Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been criticized in the past for comments perceived as sexist, but Trump and several of his female employees say he is great for women.
Trump’s comments about rival Carly Fiorina and FOX News host Megyn Kelly drew sharp criticism across the political spectrum, but Trump tells The Washington Post he’s done a great amount to help women in the workplace.
“I have been very, very good for women. I was way ahead of the curve,” Trump says in the Nob. 24 article.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney, tells the Post the majority of executives in the Trump Organization are female and head some of the most important departments in the company, like human resources and global licensing. Within the organization, according to Cohen, women “are compensated at equal and in many cases higher pay rates” than men.
According to a recent FOX News poll, Trump leads the Republican field in female support, but when compared to potential Democrats in a hypothetical match-up Trump falls slightly behind. Even with slightly less female support, the poll shows Trump ahead of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders by a 46 to 41 percent margin.
Some of the women who worked for Trump in the past agree with him. Deirdre Rosen, vice president of human resources for Trump’s hotels, says Trump offered her more flexibility than she had anywhere else in her career.
Another woman, Jill Martin, assistant general counsel for The Trump Organization, says Trump’s trust in her helped her grow when she didn’t even believe in herself.
“He pushed me when I needed it,” she tells the Post.
Despite Trump’s self-professed support of women, comments he’s made during his presidential campaign hampered efforts to shore up female support.
Trump is quoted in a Rolling Stone interview commenting on Fiorina’s looks, saying, “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 s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
Prior to the Fiorina comments, Trump and FOX host Megyn Kelly had a public feud that culminated with Trump suggesting Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever,” after a particularly heated debate question.
Even some of the women who say Trump helped them in their careers say his comments aren’t fit for a presidential setting.
Former employee Barbara Res, who was in charge of construction of Trump’s crown jewel, the Trump Tower, tells the Post some of Trump’s positions are “very anti-women,” and she will be “voting for Hillary.”
While some call Trump’s attacks on Fiorina and Kelly sexist, the presidential candidate is equally as brash with criticisms of his male counterparts.
Trump took a backhand shot at presidential candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul during a recent debate, saying of Paul, “I never attacked him on his look, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter right there.”
He’s also called presidential candidate South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham a “stiff,” Karl Rove a “total loser,” and implied Sen. John McCain is not a war hero because he was captured in Vietnam.