“If you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country it’s mind-boggling!” [Trump] said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday night.
Trump, who has already sparked a minor diplomatic incident and lost business deals with five companies over his remarks about Mexicans, claimed that statistics show that Latino immigrants are more likely to perpetrate rape than the wider population. However, the Fusion article he referred to said 80% of women crossing the Mexican border are raped along the way, often by criminal gangs, traffickers or corrupt officials.
When CNN host Don Lemon pointed out that Trump had misread the article, the former Apprentice host said: “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”
New York City said it was reviewing its contracts with the billionaire developer and U.S. presidential hopeful because of his comments insulting Mexicans.
Calling Trump’s remarks “disgusting and offensive,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, “Trump’s comments do not represent the values of inclusion and openness that define us as New Yorkers.”…
“Donald Trump is finding out that Hispanics have real power, and it’s not just political power; it’s economic power,” said Fernando Mateo, chairman of Hispanics Across America.
Macy’s is pulling Donald Trump brand merchandise from its stores after the Republican presidential candidate’s recent controversial remarks created a public uproar…
In a statement Wednesday morning, Macy’s said the company “stands for diversity” and that it had no tolerance for discrimination.
“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,” Macy’s said. “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.”
Of course, Trump’s $9 billion claim isn’t taken very seriously by very many people. In 2005, New York Times reporter Timothy O’Brien dug deep into Trump’s finances and estimated his actual value in the low hundreds of millions—enough to qualify him as “really rich,” in his words, but far, far short of billionaire territory. (Trump sued, naturally; he lost.) Trump also has a history of business troubles, to go along with some notable successes; he has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times and according to O’Brien had to ask his siblings to float him loans in the 1990s. They didn’t believe he’d repay them.
How did Trump get from $250 million, the upper end of O’Brien’s range, in 2005 to $9 billion today? It’s been 10 years, and an already-wealthy person can make a lot of money in 10 years, but that decade also included a massive economic slump, a crisis in real estate (putatively Trump’s core business), and a 2009 declaration of Chapter 11 bankruptcy by his casino group. One way to get to the $9 billion figure is that, as Jordan Weissmann highlighted, Trump estimates that the value of his name alone is worth more than a third of that…
The thing about Trump’s comments about Mexicans and his clumsy attempts at clean-up since is that they don’t just hurt him directly, in the loss of earnings from the Miss USA contest or any of those ties and shirts; they also degrade the value of his brand and reputation. So even if you take Trump’s self-valuation at face value, you can see how his comments about Mexican immigrants have been costly.
The attention the real-estate mogul has been getting is nearly unending, as his campaign often brags.
Not that Trump has never before made statements derided as offensive—it’s just that in a presidential campaign, they’re taken far more seriously. In 1991, the former president of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino noted that Trump remarked, “laziness is a trait in blacks,” and also told him, “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” The same year, Trump told Esquire, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
He refers to African-Americans as “the blacks,” he slams accomplished women in journalism and entertainment for their appearance, he says that “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me—consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
“Donald Trump is suddenly a force to be reckoned with in the G.O.P. primary, proving their rebrand is going splendidly,” said Jessica Mackler, president of American Bridge. “He’s a great example of everything Republicans stand for.”
For Mr. Trump, who has for years used the prospect of running for president to generate publicity, the attention may be a mixed blessing…
“The potential is Trump benefits from this politically because it keeps him in the spotlight,” said Dan Hill, a crisis communications specialist. “In terms of his brand and his business, obviously it’s devastating.”
“I am a person of faith — and the Donald’s entry into this race can only be attributed to the fact that the good Lord is a Democrat with a sense of humor,” exulted Paul Begala, veteran Democratic strategist and adviser to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC boosting Clinton’s candidacy…
Other Democrats have pounced as well. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro — a descendant of Mexican immigrants seen as rising star in his party — said in a recent interview that Trump was “plainly insulting Mexicans.”
“He will be in this campaign in many ways the face of the Republican Party, because he has higher name [identification] than almost all of them,” Castro said. “That is a very dumb way to begin a campaign.”…
“You heard his opening salvos, many of which clanked and created some discomfort among Republicans,” [David] Axelrod said. “Every Republican candidate now has to calculate how they deal with him, particularly in the debates. If he says something outrageous and no one challenges him, that’s bad for them and bad for the Republican Party.”
[W]hen he was asked about Trump this week by a Spanish-language reporter, Bush blasted the businessman as not representative of the values of the Republican Party. But when Bush was asked roughly the same question in English, he dialed it back and said: “I don’t agree with him. I think he’s wrong. It’s pretty simple.”
Bush is obviously reluctant to engage in a full-throated repudiation. Either he’s afraid that Trump will unleash a sharp-tongued response or that Republican voters who agree with Trump will turn against his candidacy.
Those are likely the same concerns that have led the other GOP presidential hopefuls — Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, et al — to cowardly take vows of silence on Trump’s comments.
It’s a dangerous world. The next Commander-in-Chief must be able to stand up to ISIS, Iran, Russia. So it doesn’t inspire confidence in the GOP field that they don’t have the courage to tangle with the likes of Donald Trump.
As it happens, Trump’s new enemies are doing him an enormous political favor, at least in the short term. There are few things that benefit a Republican candidate in the current environment of left-wing bullying more than getting fired and boycotted for something he’s said. And Trump’s smash-mouth response — oh, yeah, I’m going to sue Univision for a cool $500 million — will be even more endearing to primary voters.
I was skeptical that Trump was really running, but now that the boats are burned behind him, watch out. He is set to be Herman Cain squared — an early-nominating-season phenomenon with a massive media megaphone…
For all its crassness, Trump’s rant on immigration is closer to reality than the gauzy clichés of the immigration romantics unwilling to acknowledge that there might be an issue welcoming large numbers of high school dropouts into a 21st-century economy. If we don’t want to add to the ranks of the poor, the uninsured and the welfare dependent, we should have fewer low-skilled immigrants — assuming saying that is not yet officially considered a hate crime.
The point surely could be made much more deftly by anyone not named Donald J. Trump. In the meantime, he fills the vacuum, and enjoys the whirlwind.
The Trump bubble is what you get when a significant part of the GOP is tired of being lied to and screwed over. They want to be heard and they want to see their values (in this case anger, which is an emotion not a value but it’s a reasonable stand in at this point) reflected in a candidate…
If the system is breaking down and no one is part of the system is willing to respond, then going outside the system with someone who reflects that anger (even if he doesn’t really believe it) is not a crazy choice…
The GOP always wants to run on policy papers and 78 point plans because that’s what the media and donors like to hear. They continue to ignore the emotional element of politics because they don’t like it and they aren’t any good at it.
Like it or not, people are swayed by their emotions and it’s easier to move someone that way than it is to argue them into supporting a position they don’t currently hold. People on the right are mad but also scared about what’s happening to this country.They want to know that a candidate shares those feelings, that they “get it”. If the GOP won’t offer that candidate, it shouldn’t be surprising that when one comes along who at least seems to “get it”, people are intrigued by him.
To 2016 Republican primary voters, Trump is a throwback they are in the mood for: the fiery non-political presidential candidate. Beyond his risible self-presentation and rambling announcement speech, Trump is a stream of this electorate’s consciousness with his lists of all the ways government has failed them, from Obamacare to the porous Mexican border to the Chinese cyber-hacking. Not since Ross Perot has an outsider come on the scene prepared to harness so much voter disgruntlement. In an election cycle that seemed on cruise control for Bush vs. Clinton, that role should not be underestimated…
He may not know it, but Trump’s real contribution to the 2016 Republican contest could be exorcising the demons of 2012. The party’s play-it-safe approach four years ago proved unresponsive to contemporary politics, from Tim Pawlenty’s refusal to double down on “Romneycare” to Mitt Romney’s own pass given to President Obama on Benghazi during their third and final debate. Trump is the anti-Romney and won’t let that reticence happen at any of the debates he’s involved in.
When he captured the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 Barack Obama conceded that Hillary Clinton made him a better candidate. Some Republican may say the same thing about Trump next year.