Speaker Paul Ryan has condemned Donald Trump’s attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel as “the textbook definition of a racist comment” — but that’s still not stopping him from voting Trump in November.
“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. “I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable. But do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”
A real profile in courage, that one.
A slew of prominent Republican leaders have joined Ryan in refusing to rescind their support for Trump, even after saying that his attacks on Curiel — a respected jurist born to Mexican immigrants in Indiana — are “racially toxic,” “unacceptable,” and “offensive.”
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott called Trump’s attacks “racially toxic.” But he’s still with Trump.
Sen. Tim Scott, the highest ranking black Republican, says Trump remarks were “racially toxic.” Won’t rescind endorsement.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) June 7, 2016
Texas Senator John Cornyn — a past winner of our “Biggest Hypocrite Award” — called Trump’s attacks “wrong.” But he’s still with Trump.
but he supports the nominee https://t.co/6KtDBdy4uY
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) June 6, 2016
The former “GOP Savior” from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio, said Trump “needs to stop” his attacks on Judge Curiel. But Rubio won’t stop his support for Trump.
— America’s Voice (@AmericasVoice) June 6, 2016
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Trump’s attacks were “offensive” and called on him to retract them. Yet she won’t retract her support for Trump.
— Kate Hansen (@KateEHansen) June 6, 2016
Maine Sen. Susan Collins called Trump’s attacks “absolutely unacceptable.” Collins has previously said she’d back the Republican nominee, but now Buzzfeed reports “she will continue to withhold her endorsement of Trump in hopes that he will change his demeanor.” Good luck with that.
— Joe Sudbay (@JoeSudbay) June 6, 2016
According to the New York Times, only Sen. Lindsey Graham has directly appealed to his fellow Republicans “to rescind their endorsements, saying Trump’s attacks are “the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy.” “
“If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it,” he said. “There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
“You now have the uncanny and bizarre case of top Republican leaders explicitly calling Trump out as ‘racist’ and also saying they support his candidacy for President,” noted TPM’s Josh Marshall today.
But as we noted yesterday, Republicans can’t have it both ways. The situation is actually quite simple: stand with Trump and you stand for racism. Stand with Trump and you are putting your party over your country. Stand with Trump and be forever defined by your capitulation.
It’s not enough to just “disagree” with Trump’s comments about Judge Curiel — it’s time for Republicans to take a stand and revoke their support for Trump.