Just hours after Donald Trump cruised to victory in three of Tuesday's four Republican primary contests, the GOP front-runner speculated that his harsh rhetoric is costing him the support of one particular demographic group across the country: female voters.
When asked in an MSNBC interview if he believed women were put off by his "tone," Trump responded in the affirmative, saying, "I do. I think I've had to be very tough over the last period of number of months."
"I was being hit from every single angle and viciously. You know, when you look at Marco, when you look at Ted Cruz, the way he spoke," Trump said early Wednesday. "In order to be victorious, frankly, I had to be very tough and I had to be very sharp and smart and nasty. And I can see women not necessarily liking the tone but I also had to get to the finish line."
He added that if he hadn't taken on that tone, "I wouldn't be talking to you this morning, I guarantee you that. I would've been sitting home with Lindsey Graham watching television."
But after the election, Trump pledged that his rhetoric "will change once this is all over."
During his wide-ranging interview, Trump also answered questions about the possibility of signing on rival Marco Rubio as his vice presidential pick.
Trump slammed Rubio, forecasting doom for the Florida senator if he continued with his campaign through his home state primary.
"If he runs and loses, I think he will never be able to do anything big politically in Florida," Trump said. "I certainly don't think he would be considered by anybody as a vice president, and I don't think he could ever run for governor... I think running and losing would be risky."
But when pressed about whether Trump would consider Rubio as a running mate if he dropped out before March 15, Trump responded, "Sure, sure. And he's got a lot of talent."
Still, Trump's history with the establishment darling has been a bumpy one. They've traded barbs over everything from military strategy to anatomical size, and, as Trump cautioned MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Wednesday, he believes it is still too early to name a VP pick.
"I just don't want to say that yet, Joe," Trump said. "It's just not appropriate to talk about it until he makes a decision. I have respect for him, he's got great talent, and I just don't want to say that yet. It's too soon."