PHOENIX - "Ladies," Carly Fiorina said, "look at this face!"
Fiorina took direct aim at Donald Trump here Friday evening, offering up a sharp rejoinder to comments by Trump that appeared to mock Fiorina's appearance.
"Look at that face," Trump told Rolling Stone in an interview published Wednesday. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!"
Absolutely, Fiorina said at the National Federation of Republican Women's annual conference here.
"This is the face of a 61 year old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle," "Fiorina said as the overwhelmingly female crowd laughed and cheered.
The real estate mogul defended himself Thursday, saying that he was "talking about persona. I'm not talking about look." Critics pounced on Trump, saying that his remarks about Fiorina reinforced the notion that he is a misogynist.
Fiorina also hit Trump on the issue of leadership, saying that wealth does not a leader make.
"Leadership is not about position. It is not about title. It is not about how big your office is or how big your plane or your helicopter or your ego," Fiorina said.
Fiorina had additional words for Trump after the speech, according to Fox News.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 12, 2015
Fiorina pitched herself as a proven leader who challenged the status quo and has done business with world leaders. She tried to project an authoritative informality, repeatedly addressing the crowd as "ladies," commiserating with the hopes, dreams and struggles of many and lamented that those in the political sphere try to pigeonhole women's interests.
"Our experiences, our views, our hopes, our desires, are as diverse as the other half of the nation. The men. And I personally am so tired of hearing about women’s issues," she said. "All issues are women's issues."
Women, she said, still bear a disproportionate burden of poverty and child care duties and the pace of change for women has been slower. She recounted stories of sexism and the double standards that women face, including being called a "token bimbo" at work and the time a colleague told her she can't come to a meeting with a client, because he wanted to get together at a strip club called the Board Room.
"I said, 'I hope you don't feel too uncomfortable, but I'll see you at The Board Room,'" Fiorina recalled saying. "I got in the cab and I gave him the name and address of the strip club and he said 'oh are you the new act?'"
Fiorina recounted being asked if a woman's hormones would prevent her from serving in the Oval Office.
"So, ladies, let’s just think: can we think of a single instance in which a man’s judgement was clouded by his hormones?" she asked as the crowd whooped, applauded and gave her a standing ovation.
"I'm not standing up," a man in the crowd said.
Fiorina also called out Hillary Clinton numerous times, saying she took "photo-ops" with world leaders while Fiorina did business with them -- Fiorina said on her first day in office she would call "my friend" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to pledge her stalwart support for Israel and the Supreme Leader of Iran to tell him that the Iranian nuclear deal is off. She said that a commander-in-chief must "understand technology," a dig at the controversy surrounding Clinton's e-mail while she was at the State Department.
Even though Republican majorities were elected in Congress, she said, nothing has happened: the border isn't secure and Planned Parenthood isn't defunded, an issue that drew loud applause.
Most of all, she told the women, she wants them to vote for her because she is up for the job.
"I am not asking for your vote and your support because I am a woman. I am asking for your vote and your support because I am the most qualified candidate to win this job and do this job," she said.