This Racist Thing Donald Trump Said Shocked Even His Biggest Conservative Supporters
Donald Trump’s bigoted statements are so common their impact lessens with each passing day; however, Trump’s latest racist comment shocked even his most loyal Republican supporters. Trump has repeatedly attacked the judge ruling over a lawsuit involving Trump University, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, claiming he’s biased against the presumptive GOP presidential nominee because of his Mexican heritage. “We’re building a wall. He’s a Mexican,” Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper about the judge, who was born in Indiana.
The federal lawsuit Judge Curiel is overseeing was filed in California by dissatisfied former Trump University students who allege that the for-profit university utilized fraud, false advertising, unfair business practices, and financial elder abuse. President Obama appointed Curiel to the federal bench he currently serves on in 2012, and he previously worked as a federal prosecutor in California for 17 years.
Democrats and Republicans alike were mortified by Trump’s racist accusations that Curiel couldn’t properly do his job because his parents were Mexican immigrants. The billionaire-turned-politician dug himself a deeper hole by saying Sunday he would have similar concerns about a Muslim judge because of his plans to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. When CBS’s John Dickerson asked him if he thought Muslim judges would also be incapable of treating him fairly, Trump responded: “It’s possible, yes. Yeah. That would be possible, absolutely.”
Even GOP leaders who have publicly supported Trump’s campaign were appalled by his comments about Judge Curiel and couldn’t bring themselves to agree. House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference about a different issue that Trump’s offensive criticism of Curiel was “the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Ryan said, “I disavow these comments — I regret those comments that he made.” That wasn’t enough for him to alienate himself from the presumptive GOP nominee though, and he added: “I believe that we have more common ground on the policy issues of the day and we have more likelihood of getting our policies enacted with [Trump] than with [Clinton].”
Similarly, conservative political consultant and vocal Trump supporter Newt Gingrich told Fox News he isn’t comfortable with a potential U.S. president attacking a federal judge for his heritage, saying: “This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it’s inexcusable.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also refuted Trump’s claims, telling NBC’s Meet the Press, “I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that.”
Senator Lindsey Graham, who was once a Republican contender for the White House, never enthusiastically supported Trump, but was starting to come around to the real estate mogul’s side before the bigoted comments surfaced. Now, he’s urging Republicans to un-endorse Trump. “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,” Graham told CNN. “I think it’s very un-American for a political leader to question whether a person can judge based on his heritage.”
You know something’s incredibly racist when even Republican elected officials try to position themselves as far away from the comments in question as possible.