For far too long, the strategy of Trump’s Republican rivals has been to ignore the childish insults the real estate mogul hurled their way. If The Donald was going to attempt turn the primary race into a series of playground taunts, the other candidates would position themselves as the adults in the room.
This, as evidenced by poll numbers, has not worked, and, last week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio decided to fight fire with fire. It went about as well as any intelligent person would suppose.
"The reason he doesn’t sweat is his pores are clogged from his spray tan," he quipped during a rally in Salem, Virginia. "Donald is not going to make America great, he’s going to make America orange," he added, cracking himself up.
Then came the kicker.
"His hands are the size of someone who’s [five feet two inches]. And you know what they say about men with small hands." Rubio paused, like any great comic, to let the insinuation sink in before adding, "You can’t trust ‘em!"
Trump, who has built his support less on policy and more on machismo, was having none of it.
"I have to say this. He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this. Look at those hands. Are they small hands?" Trump said Thursday night, spreading his palms before the camera.
"And he referred to my hands if they are small, something else must be small.
"I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee you."
The line received an uncomfortably large amount of applause from the audience, but thankfully, for those quietly appalled while watching from home, moderator Bret Baier hurriedly changed the topic.
"Okay. Moving on."