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Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz Weigh in on Donald Trump’s Comments – Where is Rest of GOP Field?

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Though it took nearly two weeks, some prominent members of the Republican 2016 presidential field are finally weighing in on Donald Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant comments.

According to a Bloomberg News article, Jeb Bush discussed Trump’s comments after a town hall event held in Nevada this past weekend:

“[Bush] took a handful of questions, beginning with one in Spanish about Donald Trump’s recent comments describing Mexican immigrants as rapists, murderers and drug dealers.  Trump spends his life fighting with people, Bush answered in Spanish.  And he doesn’t, Bush said, represent the values of the Republican Party.

…But when Bush was asked the same question about Trump’s remarks in English, he seemed put out at having to repeat himself, then gave a milder version of his original answer: ‘I don’t agree with him.  I think he’s wrong.  It’s pretty simple.’”

Meanwhile, speaking to a national television audience on Fox News yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) actually defended Trump, saying “I like Donald Trump.  I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth.”

Trump’s comments are increasingly a major issue for millions of 2016 voters.  Since most all of Trump’s fellow 2016 GOP contenders felt comfortable welcoming him to the race, they should now be prepared to go on the record to either disavow or embrace Trump’s comments and worldview regarding immigrants.  As Lawrence Downes writes in the New York Times’ “Opinion Pages,”:

“It seems fair at this point – even essential – to note that Mr. Trump is far from alone as an immigrant-hostile Republican running for president.  The dominating message from the ever-widening field of G.O.P. candidates is that what the country needs most, now, is to lock down the border and overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration reform.  Listening to Republicans talk on this subject is like being stuck in a bar with the same cruddy cover band that never, ever learns a new song.  I wonder how long they will let Mr. Trump remain out front, screaming his head off.”

Trump’s comments have received dominant coverage in Spanish language media throughout the U.S. and Latin America, generating outrage and solidarity, while demonstrating the Latino community’s growing clout in corporate America.  See below for a roundup of the key fallout from Trump’s comments:

  • Univision Drops Trump’s Miss USA Pageant: In the week following Trump’s racist comments, leading Spanish language network Univision announced it would cut ties with the media mogul, saying, “At Univision we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country.”  Univision’s announcement followed a column from Emmy Award winning journalist and leading Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos, calling Trump “the Hispanic community’s most hated man.”  In response, Trump filed a $500 million dollar lawsuit against the network, alleging “contract violations.”
  • NBC Severs Ties with Trump: Following Univision’s lead and a Change.org petition that drew more than 200,000 signatures, NBC (Univision’s parent company) announced this week that it, too, “was ending its business relationship with the billionaire real estate and media mogul” and “would also no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants,” per reporting from the New York Times.
  • Mexican Billionaire Dumps Trump TV Project:  Ora TV, a production company owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and former CNN correspondent Larry King, became the third media giant to sever business ties with Trump.  Said Ora TV spokesman, Artuto Elias, in response, “His statement was totally out of line…working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work.”
  • Macy’s Drops Trump Merchandise:  Following the lead of the TV networks and an enormous public pressure campaign, Macy’s become the fourth company, today, to end their business relationship with Trump.  Said the company in a statement, “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation. In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.”
  • Mexico Drops Out of Pageant; Bogota Drops Out of Hosting:According to a report from the AFP, “Anger over US presidential candidate Donald Trump’s remarks about Mexican migrants boiled over Tuesday as Bogota withdrew its candidacy to host his Miss Universe show and Mexico dropped out of the pageant…Losing both a Latin American contestant and city are big setbacks for Miss Universe as the pageant is hugely popular in the region, where victory is a source of national pride that can spark street celebrations.” Meanwhile, former Miss Universe pageant winner, Paulina Vega of Colombia, is also facing increased public pressure to give up her crown as well.
  • Co-Hosts of Miss USA Pageant Step Down:  Both Cheryl Burke, ex-Dancing with the Stars cast member, and MSNBC correspondent Thomas Roberts, announced yesterday that they, too, will drop out of hosting Mr. Trump’s pageant.  Said Burke in a statement, “In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host. Effective today I have withdrawn from my duties with Miss USA.”
  • Ricky Martin Moves Charity Event Away from Trump Golf Course:  According to reportingfrom Carlos Aguilar of Variety, “Ricky Martin has decided to cut ties with Donald Trump. The singer’s annual golf tournament, sponsored by The Ricky Martin Foundation to support efforts to end child trafficking, will no longer take place at the Trump International Golf Club. The announcement is in response to Trump’s racists remarks against Mexicans and immigrants.  Helga Garcia, a spokeswoman for Martin and the foundation said in a public statement that the decision is an act of ‘solidarity for basic human rights and in support of the Latin-American community.’”