For anyone who may have been hankering for some good political theater on Sunday, an event in New Hampshire delivered the goods. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump appeared at a Q&A event organized by No Labels, a non-partisan group, on Sunday and took a grilling from several audience members. One of the women seated behind Trump near the end of the almost 40-minute session fired some tough questions at The Donald on women’s issues. “I wanna get paid the same as a man and I think you understand that. So, if you become president, will a woman make the same as a man? And do I get to choose what I do with my body?” the woman asked Trump, triggering a round of raucous applause from the audience. “You’re gonna make the same if you do as good a job,” Trump said twice in response, adding, “And I happen to be pro-life. OK, I’m pro-life.” Later, the woman was identified by The Burlington Free Press as 18-year-old college student Lauren Batchelder.
Why does this matter? Because Batchelder also happens to be an unpaid intern for the New Hampshire arm of Jeb Bush’s campaign, as her social media accounts showed. That led some to accuse Bush of sending a “plant” into the audience to clash with Trump. On Monday, the Bush campaign responded confirming Batchelder’s connection to the campaign, but denying that she was sent as an operative. “Like many in New Hampshire, Lauren is a student at St. Anselm’s who is passionate about and active in politics and attended this event on her own accord,” Bush’s campaign said in a statement, according to CNN. “While this question was not sanctioned by the campaign, we can’t help but notice Mr. Trump does some to be very sensitive about being challenged by a woman.”
Trump fired back on Monday morning, saying in a post on Twitter, “The arrogant young woman who questioned me in such a nasty fashion at No Labels yesterday was a Jeb staffer. HOW CAN HE BEAT RUSSIA AND CHINA?” Trump had been laying off Jeb Bush, who he had described all summer long as “low-energy,” but this flair-up may be the second act in the Trump vs Bush show. Stay tuned.
Read the full story at Business Insider.