Trumps Racist Remarks Are Hurting The Party
Washington – Today the Donald Trump campaign said that they would stop talking about federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University. Trump has been relentless in his criticism of the judge and his Republican establishment backs have called for him to stop.
Here is the statement released this afternoon by the Trump campaign.
“It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent,” Trump said.
“I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.”
Trump added that he’s “watched as the media has reported one inaccuracy after another concerning the ongoing litigation involving Trump University.”
The statement doesn’t amount to a repudiation of his earlier comments, but it shows a tacit acknowledgment that he should tamp down his rhetoric. It remains to be seen if Trump can stop attacking the judge or if he willing to listen to a very uneasy Republican establishment ready to distance themselves from him.
Trump is under fire from his own party and things are getting hotter by the minute as Republicans weigh supporting him vs. being painted as racists. The Presumptive GOP nominee for president is already under fire for his assertion that the Mexican parentage of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, has colored his rulings in lawsuits against Trump’s business school, given Trump’s plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that Donald Trump’s comments about a U.S.-born judge of Mexican heritage are the “textbook definition of a racist comment,” but the GOP’s top elected official said he still backs Trump for president.
“I regret those comments he made. Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan said at a news conference. “I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Sen. Mark Kirk, one of the most endangered Republican senators up for reelection this fall, said today he will not back Donald Trump for president. The Illinois lawmaker had earlier said he would support his party’s nominee.
Kirk issued the following statement:
“I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers – not building walls. That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.
“As the Presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled. While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for President regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.
“It is absolutely essential that we are guided by a commander-in-chief with a responsible and proper temperament, discretion and judgment. Our President must be fit to command the most powerful military the world has ever seen, including an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons. After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world.”
Meanwhile, at CNN today South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Donald Trump’s criticism of a judge with Mexican heritage is an example of playing “the race card” and is “very un-American.”
“I don’t think he’s racist but he’s playing the race card. And in the political process he’s putting the race card on the table,” he told CNN Tuesday. “I think it’s very un-American for a political leader to question whether a person can judge based on his heritage.”
“If he continues this line of attack then I think people really need to reconsider the future of the party,” Graham added.
The senator also urged Republicans backing Trump to rescind their endorsements following the presumptive Republican nominee’s comments about judges’ ethnicity and religion and discomfort with a potential jurist of the Muslim faith.
It remains to be seen if Trump can mend the fences that he has touched with the high ranking members of the party. We will have to wait and see how this plays out but there is a great deal of damage done by the GOP frontrunner this time.
Video in this story from Fox News