Clinton laughs after audience member suggests he wants to strangle Fiorina

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE failed to admonish an audience member on Tuesday who said he wanted to “strangle” Republican primary candidate Carly Fiorina.

The audience member said he was a systems engineer who was laid off from Hewlett-Packard while Fiorina was CEO of the company.

He critiqued decisions made by Fiorina to fire workers and said he becomes infuriated whenever he sees her trumpeting her business record on television.

"And to see this woman say she grew the company three times — she merged the company with Digital Equipment and Compaq Computing. That's not growing a company when you absorb two other companies," he said.

“And then she laid off over 40,000 people, and she says she’s a great CEO. Every time I see her on TV, I want to reach through and strangle her,” he said, drawing laughs from the audience. “I know that doesn’t sound very nice.”

“I wouldn’t mess with you,” Clinton responded, laughing.

Republicans accused Clinton of hypocrisy on women's issues and demanded she apologize.

"By laughing off a male questioner’s desire to strangle Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have lost all credibility claiming to be a party that stands up for women," Republican National Committee Press Secretary Allison Moore said in a statement on Tuesday.
 
“Hillary Clinton routinely exhibits the worst kind of hypocrisy on women’s issues, whether it’s launching attacks on equal pay despite paying women less than men in her Senate office or her foundation’s acceptance of millions of dollars from foreign governments that oppress women’s rights," the statement continued.

"It’s clear women just can’t count on Hillary Clinton to stand up for them.  She should apologize immediately.”  

Fiorina has been a vocal critic of the former first lady. She has largely based her presidential campaign on the notion that she can beat Clinton as a fellow female candidate.

The former business executive has been criticized recently for failing to correct a supporter who called President Obama a “black Muslim.”

-Updated at 3:07 p.m.