In a joint post with Jeff Dunetz from the Lid, your intrepid reporter sums up what must have been a tough day on the campaign trail for Donald Trump. I cover the news and my dear friend and journalism hero Jeff takes care of the commentary in the second half of the story.
The Donald Trump campaign for the White House is currently caught up in the midst of a hubbub concerning some of Trump’s recent commentary about the judge who is presiding over the Trump University case. The press coverage of the fiasco has led many in the GOP to begin worrying (again) about the idea that Donald Trump is the likely Republican candidate. Into this uncertain milieu stepped Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who told the New York Times that perhaps it was time for Republican politicians to start un-endorsing Mr. Trump.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another former primary rival of Mr. Trump’s, urged Republicans who have backed Mr. Trump to rescind their endorsements, citing the remarks about Judge Curiel and Mr. Trump’s expression of doubt on Sunday that a Muslim judge could remain neutral in the same lawsuit, given Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim noncitizens entering the country.
“This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy,” Mr. Graham said. “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” he added. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
Trump superfan Chris Christie (R-NJ) was not impressed with Graham’s attacks.
But Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who once called Graham his "bro with no ho,” is currently embroiled in a tough campaign for reelection and must have found some wisdom in Graham’s advice because on Tuesday, he did exactly as Graham recommended.
Kirk released a statement saying:
“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.”
The Trump campaign responded immediately by arguing that Mr. Trump was not attacking Judge Curiel’s heritage but simply pointing out that Curiel is not an unbiased arbiter in this case.
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. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. 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.
So, any bets on which (if any) GOP politician will be the next to “unendorse” Mr. Trump?
Onan is correct! Tuesday, the last day of the major presidential primaries, was an incredibly strange day in an incredibly strange week in, what has been the most incredibly strange year in decades.
Having clinched his nomination earlier than Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump should have been spending his time hammering away at her to define the former Secretary of State to the voters. It’s what Obama did to Romney in 2012 and it severely damaged the contender’s chances
Yet, instead of taking the golden opportunity to connect Hilary with the lousy Obama economy and the recent jobs report, or to tag her with the fact that even George Stephanopoulos, who never hides his bias toward anything Clinton, didn’t buy her latest set of email baloney on “This Week.” Trump blundered. He then followed up with another, and then he broke another rule: “when you find yourself in a hole–stop digging.” But he didn’t stop digging—and on Tuesday, the unification of the GOP that had begun started unraveling. For the first time since he became the presumptive nominee, the GOP came out en masse to trash the Donald.
Whether one agrees with Donald Trump or not, no one can take away from the fact that he is an excellent marketer. But his marketing skills must have totally abandoned Trump for him to start slamming U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiele during his political dialogue. This has nothing to do with whether or not the judge is fair, or whether the Trump University lawsuit has merit. Donald Trump let his ego get ahead of his marketing and political know-how. When he was first asked about the suit, he should have said that he doesn’t want to comment on an ongoing legal action other than saying he is confident he will win the suit. THAT’S IT
Instead of recent news cycles being about Bernie catching up with Hillary, the news was dominated by Trumps anti-Mexican bigotry. Whether he is or isn’t a bigot doesn’t matter. Whether true or not, Trump’s claim that the judge was unfair because of his Mexican descent sounds bigoted because of Trump’s stand on immigration – even if hatred wasn’t what is in his heart. The fact that Trump made prior statements easily interpreted as being bigoted made the recent statements sound even worse.
Trump cannot blame it on the Republican establishment or sleazy reporters: his comments about the Judge are an issue only because Trump made them one. And thanks to that becoming an issue, on Tuesday, everything Trump worked so hard on since he entered the race almost (or may have) fell apart.
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