Yesterday, the latest GOP candidate for President in 2016 accused a majority of America’s undocumented immigrants of being “rapists” — and not one single GOP competitor has yet to denounce him for it.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best,” reality television star and businessman Donald Trump claimed during his widely-panned announcement at Trump Tower on Tuesday.
“They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting,” he said.
Trump’s vile remarks are bad enough already, but it’s just as disappointing to see the lack of blowback from Republicans running against him, especially considering some of these candidates call immigrants their spouses and parents.
“Several of the GOP candidates have close family ties to the immigrant community. But somehow Trump’s unfounded, malicious attack doesn’t warrant a response. Wow. That’s sure leadership to believe in.”
Cuban-Americans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are born of immigrant parents. Jeb Bush — who announced his own candidacy on Monday — speaks frequently about his Mexican-born wife, biracial U.S. citizen children, and fluency in Spanish.
Yet rather than condemn Trump for vilifying immigrants — these are members of their own families, after all — Cruz tweeted Trump a congratulatory welcome to the 2016 race. He even released a statement saying Trump has the experience to make “America great again”:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 16, 2015
Ted Cruz: “I’m pleased to welcome Donald Trump into the race for the 2016 Republican nomination” pic.twitter.com/ymX252YdzK
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 16, 2015
Cruz wasn’t alone in inviting Trump into the fold. The GOP’s official Twitter account joined in, mind-numbing considering two years ago its chairman, Reince Priebus, called for passage of comprehensive immigration reform and an end to the GOP’s harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric:
— RNC (@GOP) June 16, 2015
So much for that.
Another Republican candidate, former New York Governor George Pataki, tweeted a welcome to Trump, too. One has to wonder what New York’s four million immigrants have to think about that exactly:
— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) June 16, 2015
So far there’s been no comment on Trump’s claims from any other Republican candidates running for President, but they can’t stay silent forever. The first GOP debate is coming up in August, and Trump is currently polling well enough that he could be included in at least the first event, and any responsible moderator should ask they where they stand on Trump’s beliefs.
Trump’s rhetoric is only further damaging the GOP brand among Latino voters going into the 2016 election, and GOP candidates are aiding him — and hurting the GOP overall — by not directly challenging his claims. As Jonathan Capeheart noted earlier today:
“I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Trump will not be the next president of the United States or even the GOP nominee. But his harsh rhetoric and the way his opponents respond (not well, I suspect) to the xenophobic zingers he will hurl on the debate stage will hobble the next Republican nominee’s effort to secure the keys to the White House.”