After Ted Cruz and Macro Rubio denounced comments yesterday made by Donald Trump about the judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University, more Republican leaders publicly rebuked the presumptive GOP presidential nominee today.
Trump has been drawing criticism after strongly suggesting that the judge in the case is biased against him because the judge is of Mexican heritage, even though he was born in the U.S. Trump pointed to his proposed expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall as a strong point of contention between the two countries. In defense of Trump, commentary sites like Breitbart have pointed out the Judge Gonzalo Curiel's connection to the Latino-run National Council of La Raza, which has been criticized in the past by leaders like Cesar Chavez and George Putnam for being "anti-gringo."
But other Republican leaders are lining up to call Trump's remarks racist.
According to CNN, House Speaker Paul Ryan said they were "the textbook definition of racist comment."
According to the Politico, former presidential candidate Jeb Bush insisted Trump take back his comments, saying, “There is no place for racism in the GOP, or this country.”
Senator and former presidential candidate Lindsey Graham was more dramatic, exclaiming, "This is the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy," according to The Hill, in reference to the "McCarthyism" of the 1950s.
Lesser-known Iowa state senator David Johnson took it a step further, according to the Des Moines Register, suspending his membership with the Republican Party because, as he said, "I will not stand silent if the party of Lincoln and the end of slavery buckles under the racial bias of a bigot."
Trump again defended his remarks today, according to CNN, saying, "Based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial. Normally, legal issues in a civil case would be heard in a neutral environment. However, given my unique circumstances as nominee of the Republican Party and the core issues of my campaign that focus on illegal immigration, jobs and unfair trade, I have concerns as to my ability to receive a fair trial."
He added, "I don't care if the judge is Mexican or not. All I want him to do is give me a fair shake."