Many of Donald Trump’s high-profile Republican supporters are distancing themselves from racially tinged comments he made about a US federal judge, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign has taken notice.
Over the weekend, several Trump supporters — such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, current and former House Speakers Paul Ryan and Newt Gingrich, and Sen. Bob Corker — all condemned Trump’s suggestion that Indiana-born Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot fairly preside over lawsuits against Trump University because of his Mexican heritage.
Clinton’s campaign on Monday released a new digital advertisement highlighting Republicans’ opposition to Trump’s comments.
“I couldn’t disagree more with a statement like that,” McConnell said on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” which Clinton’s video highlighted.
“This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made,” Gingrich said on “Fox News Sunday,” in another clip singled out by the Clinton campaign.
For his part, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee refused to apologise, firing back individually at some of his supporters.
In a Monday interview on “Fox and Friends,” Trump knocked Gingrich for criticising his comments about the judge.
“I saw Newt, I was surprised at Newt, I thought it was inappropriate what he said,” Trump said.
Trump’s assertion that Curiel is not qualified to fairly hear Trump’s case because of the judge’s parents’ nationality has already become a part of Clinton’s pitch to Latino voters, many of whom have been incensed by Trump’s inflammatory statements about immigrants.
In a Saturday speech in California, the Democratic presidential frontrunner slammed Trump’s “prejudiced, bigoted attack” on Curiel.
“This is not just another outlandish, insulting comment from Donald Trump, and it is not normal politics. This is something much, much more dangerous,” Clinton said.
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