With many Republicans reluctant to back Donald Trump, especially in response to his rhetoric that many consider dangerous, he has a message for them: man up and fight against stifling political correctness. Trump’s most recent controversy comes after he criticized a federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University due to his Mexican heritage, saying he wouldn’t be able to give a fair ruling on the case. Not surprisingly, this accusation upset many, and although Trump is hardly one to apologize, he’s since issued a statement that his comments on the judge (Gonzalo Curiel) were “misconstrued”.
Republicans have been in a fever in response to Trump’s remarks, with Speaker Paul Ryan calling them “the textbook definition” of racism and Senator McConnell denouncing the crusade against Curiel as “stupid”. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois went as far as to withdraw his endorsement, and many have been seriously considering following suit.
While Trump has for the most part started to shy away from the more incendiary remarks that once characterized his campaign, this incident proves that he won’t start to adopt the more cautious approach that establishment Republicans are hoping he will. Trump clearly believes that his way has worked and the establishment has failed, and is therefore more reluctant to listen to them. He’s said the politicians have been weak and ineffective, leaving the people they represent feeling disenfranchised.
Trump’s uneasy relationship with establishment Republicans and sheer contempt among many Democrats worked well for him during the primaries, although he’s going to need all the help he can get from them if he wants to get into the White House. And Trump hasn’t lost his signature confidence by a long-shot. Despite their criticism of him, neither Ryan nor McConnell have abandoned Trump, saying they share more with his ideology than Clinton’s.
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