Speed Reads

march 3 debate

Donald Trump continued praising his hands after the debate featuring his penis joke

During Thursday's Republican presidential debate on Fox News, Donald Trump assured Americans — and anyone else watching — that he doesn't have a small penis. He was reacting to a crude joke rival Marco Rubio told earlier in the week about how Trump has small hands for a man his size and "you know what they say about a man with small hands." At the debate, Trump tried to laugh it off, saying, "He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands — I've never heard of this. But look at those hands — are they small hands?" He went on to say of the other body part, "I guarantee you there's no problem."

There was mixed reaction to his quip — at Fox News, analyst Bernard Golberg was horrified, Bill O'Reilly wasn't — but this isn't the first time Trump has protested that, as he told the New York Post in 2011, "my fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well-documented, are various other parts of my body." And despite his assertion at the debate, this is also demonstrably not the first time somebody has "hit" Trump's hands, and those appendages have proven to be a very sensitive topic for him.

In 1988, when Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter was at Spy Magazine, he began referring to Trump in print as a "short-fingered vulgarian" — and, Carter wrote last November, he still gets "the occasional envelope from Trump" with a photo of him where "he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers." A few weeks ago, Vanity Fair followed up with a taunting photographic analysis of Trump's fingers. After Thursday's debate, Trump couldn't let go of the "hands" moment. "I have good-sized hands, and they say, very beautiful," he told a reporter from Extra, after making him compare hand size:

So, we're going to have to rate Trump's claim that he's "never heard of this" hands jibe "pants on fire," and even if it were true, his repeated mentions of his hands Thursday night guarantees that he will be "hit" with this question again.