Washington: The shape and size of the hands of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, has become an election issue in the US, which at times comes as an embarrassment to many and joke to others.
"I want to show off, you know what a good athlete I am. I wanted to show him the size of my hands, how I could grab him, how I could grab him," Trump said, addressing hundreds of highly enthusiastic and cheering supporters in Michigan.
Trump was referring to his GOP presidential rival, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, who kicked off the controversy by claiming that the hands of Trump are small.
"Have you seen his hands? And you know what they say about men with small hands. You can't trust them," Rubio said.
Rubio's comments apparently originated from the Spy magazine in the 1980 when Trump was referred to as a short- fingered vulgarian.
At a rally yesterday, Trump showed both his hands asking the audience if they were small.
"I could grab that guy like nothing. Boom, hold him up," Trump told his supporters, showing his hands to them.
However, this did not prevent Rubio from continuing to make Trump's alleged small hands a part of his campaign.
Many in the Republican party has criticised Rubio for dragging down the tone of the nation's political debate, but he defended his rhetoric.
"I think that's not accurate. Please. That's not even possible to be as crude as Trump," he told NPR in an interview.
Trump, he alleged, has been "personally offending not just everyone in the race but women and minorities and the disabled."
The New York Post yesterday commented "things got out of hand" when Trump defended his hand and another part of his body, a day earlier when Trump said he had not heard of someone hitting his hand before.
"He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this," Trump said in response to a question.
"Look at those hands. Are they small hands? 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," Trump said.
His remarks are said to be unprecedented in an US presidential election.
"Trump has been perhaps the most vulgar -- no I don't think perhaps -- the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency in terms of how he's carried out his candidacy," Rubio told CNN in an interview.
Of late, Trump refers to me as "little Rubio" because of my height, Rubio said.
"He's always calling me Little Marco. And I'll admit he's taller than me. He's like 6'2, which is why I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5'2," Rubio said in Virginia on Sunday.
"And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can't trust them," he said.