Never mind the however many other Republican candidates in pack: former New York Gov. George Pataki wants to go “mano a mano” with Donald Trump on immigration.
Last week, Pataki 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 that “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.”
“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.”
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!”
Today, at a roundtable with reporters in New Hampshire, Pataki challenged Trump to a one-on-one debate.
“Donald Trump has a lot to say about the problems with illegal immigrants, but aside from name-calling Mexicans and hurling insults at me and some of our other opponents the American people have yet to hear anything resembling a real plan,” said Pataki.
“I say, let’s go ‘mano a mano’ on immigration policy. Let’s get past the name calling and have a real substantive discussion,” he added.
Pataki’s campaign said the governor’s plan “will provide a process to gain legal status for only those who have obeyed the law, paid taxes, not been dependent upon government services and have been here for a number of years.” Illegal immigrants would also have to perform at least 200 hours of community service “as restitution for breaking the law initially.”
Pataki capped off his challenge with a tweet en Español to The Donald: “¿Oye @realdonaldtrump, porque no paremos los insultos y vayamos ‘mano a mano’ en la póliza de imigratión?”