With praise from Jan Brewer tucked in his Made-In-Mexico pocket, Donald Trump is trekking to Arizona for a rally with Sheriff Joe Arpaio tomorrow — and at least one prominent Arizona Republican is already dreading what is sure to become an immigrant-bashing-palooza.
GOP Senator Jeff Flake, who as a member of the Gang of Eight co-authored the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, called on the local Republican Party in Arizona to withdraw its sponsorship of the upcoming Trump/Arpaio event.
“As an elected official and as a Republican, I’m not excited about this, to say the least,” Flake told the Washington Post. “I don’t think that [Trump’s] views are reflective of the party, particularly in Arizona, a border state.”
“Flake said that Trump’s comments calling Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and drug dealers were ‘ill-informed’ and ‘not accurate,’” said WaPo.
“It’s not just on the immigration side. Donald Trump is just about the last unapologetic birther in the country,” Flake said about Trump’s accusation that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, a claim he repeated again just last night.
But, the local Republican Party is not budging one bit (especially in light of the event being moved to a larger venue due to demand, Trump eagerly tweeted), with the local party chair saying he was “thrilled” to welcome the leading Republican Presidential candidate.
The mayor of Phoenix, Democrat Greg Stanton, isn’t too happy either.
While Mayor Stanton said it was Trump’s “first amendment right” to speak in Phoenix, the Mayor also cautioned that Trump’s “ignorant, deplorable and racist rhetoric does not represent our values, and I could not disagree with him more.”
“I hope that during Mr. Trump’s time here he is able to learn some things: That being born in another country does not make one a criminal, immigration has made our city and country stronger and in Phoenix our diversity is our strength,” Stanton continued.
A beautiful point from the Mayor, but considering who Trump will be sharing a stage with — Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic points out Arpaio recently admitted “that he’s in contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos drivers” — none of the immigration policy coming out of the meeting will probably benefit immigrants.
“I had hoped that we had moved on from some of the coarse rhetoric and these statements,” Flake said. Trump’s event, he said, “is just a bad reminder of the statements of the past that the state has largely moved on from.”
Jan Brewer may be out of office, but at least for a few hours with Trump and Arpaio onstage, it’ll be like old anti-immigrant days again.
“I’m guessing Project Latino Outreach is over,” said Roberts about the GOP.