There’s a fairly standard protocol most public figures follow when they say something callous or insensitive, offending millions of people and sending former friends, admirers, and business partners sprinting away from any further association with them. Even at its most mealy-mouthed, it usually involves some sort of apology “to anyone who might have been offended” and some kind of shallow demonstration of good faith aimed at the injured parties.
Then, there’s the Donald Trump method.
Trump, the real estate mogul and walking infomercial for himself, memorably insulted Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals in his June 16 announcement of his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. Since then, The Donald has expanded the category of people fitting the rapist-and-criminal description to everyone crossing the Southern border, managing to anger pretty much everyone in the Western hemisphere who lives south of El Paso, and a considerable portion of those who don’t.
In addition to those he offended, Trump also heard from a number of his business partners who, for purposes of saving their reputations, needed to claim to have been offended, whether or not they actually were. He lost endorsement deals with Macy’s and Serta, business deals with Univision and NBC Universal, and had events sponsored by ESPN and NASCAR relocated.
But in a lengthy statement released Monday, Trump … well, what is it after you’ve already doubled down? Tripled down? Quadrupled down? However you want to characterize it, Trump adamantly refused to apologize, instead accused those fleeing association with him as having taken the “weak and very sad position of being politically correct.”
The Trump statement, reported by Business Insider, is really a masterpiece of self-regard and unquestioning certainty.
“I don’t see how there is any room for misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the statement I made on June 16th during my Presidential announcement speech,” it begins, before proceeding to restate the full text of the section of his remarks that infuriated millions of people.
“The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States,” it continued. “They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc. This was evident just this week when, as an example, a young woman in San Francisco was viciously killed by a 5-time deported Mexican with a long criminal record, who was forced back into the United States because they didn’t want him in Mexico.”
Trump was referring to the murder of Kathryn Steinle, who was shot to death by an illegal immigrant from Mexico last week. Not long after the shooting, Trump took to Twitter, using the shooting to boost his candidacy.
“Our Southern border is unsecure, he tweeted. “I am the only one that can fix it, nobody else has the guts to even talk about it.”
The statement released Monday continued in a similar vein.
“This is merely one of thousands of similar incidents throughout the United States,” he said. “In other words, the worst elements in Mexico are being pushed into the United States by the Mexican government. The largest suppliers of heroin, cocaine and other illicit drugs are Mexican cartels that arrange to have Mexican immigrants trying to cross the borders and smuggle in the drugs. The Border Patrol knows this. Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and, in fact, for many other parts of the world. On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it.”
For those keeping score at home, Trump has now upped his list of charges against Mexican immigrants to include drug trafficking, murder, and the vague but ominous association with “tremendous infectious disease.”
Over the weekend, Trump admitted that the reaction to his comments about Mexicans had been more “severe” than he expected, but he managed to find an angle he could use to spin even that fact as an endorsement of his candidacy, claiming that his willingness to absorb financial losses demonstrates how serious he is about seeking the Oval Office.
The statement released Monday came hours after Trump started taking incoming fire for retweeting a comment from an admirer claiming that leading GOP candidate Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, has a relatively lenient view on immigration because his wife is from Mexico.
Busted. Donald Trump deleted this tweet attacking Jeb Bush over his Mexican wife: pic.twitter.com/nD95099uGQ— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) July 6, 2015
Bush has been disdainful of Trump’s candidacy, saying over the weekend, “He’s doing this to inflame, to incite, to draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign.”
Trump later deleted the tweet – possibly the only recent example of The Donald not deciding to defend one of his public statements to the death.
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