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GOP Must Dump Trump or Own Him

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They Need to Answer for Trump’s Racist Remarks, and His Racist Policies

Yesterday, Republican Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) said, regarding Donald Trump and his sustained attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, “His comments over the weekend are authenticating what I believe is the man’s character… Something that walks like a duck, talks like a duck, is likely to be a duck. If you continue to say what I believe are racist statements, you’re likely to be a racist.”

Rep. Ribble’s assessment matches our own – the Republican Party’s standard bearer is a racist, plain and simple.

This is not a new development nor a revelation borne from Trump’s racist comments regarding Judge Curiel. Ever since he announced his candidacy one year ago by calling Mexicans “rapists,” Donald Trump has put forth a vision for America that divides the country along racial and religious lines. And Trump’s policy agenda – which includes mass deportation of every undocumented immigrant within 18 to 24 months, banning Muslims from entering the country, building a wall with Mexico, ending birthright citizenship for babies of immigrants, establishing a registry for Muslims, and rounding up resettled Syrian refugees – is the policy equivalent of his racist rhetoric.

So, as Republicans throughout the country and up-and-down the ballot are asked about Donald Trump and racism, their answers should not be limited to their views on Trump’s comments on Judge Curiel. They need to answer whether they share his vision for the country and his policy agenda. And they need to explain how it is possible that they can recognize his remarks as unacceptable and racist, yet still plan to support him and work towards his election to the highest office in the land.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The Republican Party has a choice to make: they either dump Trump or they own him. There’s no middle ground. If Republicans accept Trump as their standard bearer, they are saying he should be the President of the United States and that his is the best vision for the country. In effect, they are saying that the founding American idea and ideal — that all men and women are created equal, and should be judged by their deeds and not their background — is less important than party and power. If not, then more Republicans need to follow the lead of Rep. Reid Ribble, and Senators such as Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, and Ben Sasse, and stop working to elect Donald Trump to the presidency.”

As conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt stated yesterday, in calling for the GOP to dump Trump, the Republican Party’s acceptance of Trump as the general election nominee would be “like ignoring Stage IV cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it … And right now the Republican Party is facing — the plane is headed towards the mountain.”

As Ron Brownstein writes this week, “Those Republican leaders who hoped they could mobilize Trump’s supporters without directly confronting the racist signaling infecting his message now face what Ronald Reagan would recognize as ‘a time for choosing.'”