Republican candidates have been struggling to get the "one over" on Donald Trump since he stepped into the race. Typically, the Donald doesn't worry too much about insulting his fellow potential nominees, because the ensuing struggle usually favors him, as it did over the weekend with Bobby Jindal, who got down into the mud to tangle with Trump over his stature - and Trump ended up loving it, especially the part where they traded snarky barbs on social media.
His mess with Carly Fiorina, however, has been more difficult to clean up. Although people are racing to Trump's defense, the general sentiment is that Trump's attack was personal and small-minded, surprisingly unbecoming of someone who is supposed to be a terrific communciator. Sure, we know what he thinks of women - his occasional, pre-Millennial sexism is a hallmark of his quasi-boorish persona - but this is a higher-level competition and she's a high-level competitor.