Carly Fiorina Vaults to Second Place at the Polls; Donald Trump Credits Her 'Pitter-Patter,' Says It Gives Him a Headache

"She says the same thing over and over and over," Donald Trump says of Carly Fiorina

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Donald Trump is not happy about the “pitter-patter” of Carly Fiorina‘s feet at his heels in the battle for the GOP presidential nomination.

Though the billionaire businessman placed first at 24 percent in a national poll conducted after Wednesday’s Republican debate, Fiorina wasn’t far behind with 15 percent of the vote.

Asked about the former Hewlett-Packard CEO’s sudden surge during an appearance on the Today show Monday, Trump replied, “I think she’s got a good line of pitter-patter, but when you listen to her for more than five minutes, you develop a tremendous headache.”

“If you listen to her speaking … she says the same thing over and over and over,” he added. “It’s almost like robotic. You look at her, and it’s robotic.”

Fiorina made debate headlines for telling the emotional story of losing her stepdaughter to a drug overdose, as well as for her controversial comments on the undercover Planned Parenthood videos.

Fiorina tells PEOPLE that her husband, with whom she checked in during every commercial break, knew the debate would be a game changer.

“He said to me, every time I came over, ‘You’re doing a great job!’ ” Fiorina says in an interview for the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. “When I left that debate stage, I was satisfied that I had said the things I wanted to say, that I had used my time and made the most of the opportunity. It was gratifying to see all the reviews pour in and gratifying to see the move in the polls already.”

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Trump, on the other hand, saw a decline in support, according to the post-debate CNN/ORC poll, dropping 8 percentage points down from the 32 percent he earned in a similar poll earlier this month.

But Trump says he wouldn’t use the word “panic” to describe how he feels about Fiorina’s uptick, Politico reports. He believes her “record of tremendous failure” will ultimately be her downfall in the race for the presidency.

“I think when people find out what a horrible job she did in business, running two companies into the ground, Lucent and HP, I think that, you know, she lost to Barbara Boxer in a landslide,” the real estate mogul said, referencing Fiorina’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate run in California in 2010. “She was leading that race; it was a race that should have been won by the Republicans and she got absolutely decimated in that race.”

“But I think people will understand her soon, and when they look at her record of tremendous failure – look, she took Lucent into the ground, she took HP into the ground, destroyed it, and then she ran for the Senate in a race that should have been won, and lost because of the fact that she did so badly as a business leader.”

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