Former New York Gov. George Pataki has called on fellow Republican presidential candidates to condemn Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants during his campaign announcement.
Trump’s quote: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Since the mid-June comments, Macy’s, Univision and NBC have dropped relationships with Trump.
In a letter addressed to the rest of the Republican flock — and cc’d to Trump — Pataki wrote “the last week of news coverage over the language used by Donald Trump to describe Mexicans has left me and a lot of other sensible people wondering what century we are living in.”
“One hundred years ago, when Irish immigrants were coming to America, my grandmother among them, they were too often characterized as ‘drunks.’ A few years later it was the Italian immigrants, my grandfather among them, who were called'”mobsters’ or worse, ‘dagos.’ This type of divisive rhetoric is just wrong. It was wrong 100 years ago and it’s wrong today,” Pataki continued. “…I understand we must secure our border and stop illegal immigration. But I also understand that it’s not some Mexicans who are good people, it is the vast majority of Mexicans, who came here to work, succeed and live the American Dream.”
“My fellow Republicans like to talk about how we have to appeal to the Latino vote if we are going to win back the White House. They speak some Spanish, boast about ‘telling it like it is,’ or counsel to not be afraid to lose the primary to win the general – yet so far have been silent when it comes to denouncing these sad and divisive remarks.”
Pataki added that the country “must have a leader in the White House all Americans can respect, not just some.”
“As Donald Trump doubles down, I’m asking you to join me in standing up,” he said. “Stand up for our party, for the ideals that made America great, and stand for the basic decency and integrity entitled to every American, no matter their heritage or nationality.”
“Join me. Stand up now. Denounce his comments today.”
Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying Pataki “was a terrible governor of NY, one of the worst — would’ve been swamped if he ran again!” and “couldn’t be elected dog catcher if he ran again—so he didn’t!”
He’s also calling on his supporters to boycott Macy’s.
Pataki told CNN today that Trump’s comments aren’t “a setback at all for the brand,” because “it’s Donald Trump; it’s not the Republican Party.”
“And I don’t believe he will be the nominee of the Republican Party. But what is troubling to me is the other candidates not standing up and denouncing this type of horrible speech. Just — it’s so derogatory towards an entire class of Americans,” he said.
“…Quite simply, if the Republican candidates won’t stand up to Donald Trump when he makes a comment like this, how are they going to stand up to ISIS or some of the leaders of the world when they’re negotiating over world power? And how — and how are they going to reach out to Latinos?”