McConnell: Trump’s Attacks on Susana Martinez Don’t Serve Him Very Well

• June 3, 2016 2:31 pm


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said Friday that Donald Trump needed to play his role to unite the Republican Party after his earlier comments attacking New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

"I think these attacks don't serve the candidate very well at this point," he said.

Trump has a history of racially charged comments on the campaign trail. Recently, he accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over the Trump University case, of being biased due to his ethnicity.

"I have a Mexican judge. He’s of Mexican heritage. He should have recused himself, not only for that, for other things," he said.

Trump has also criticized Martinez, the country's first female Hispanic governor. MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell questioned McConnell on Trump’s latest attacks.

"Are you willing to say Trump is wrong in attacking this judge because of his ethnicity?" Mitchell asked.

"All I am going to say is Donald Trump is a different kind of candidate, you know. We had 17 people competing for the nomination, Andrea, and Donald Trump won the most primaries and caucuses. He's going to be the nominee and it’s pretty clear. Republican primary and caucus voters wanted something very different from what we are accustomed to, and I think it’s safe to say that Donald Trump is different from what we are accustomed to," McConnell said.

"I understand your position institutionally but people do have to speak out, what do you think? Is he wrong in attacking the Mexican background, some generations back, of this very highly regarded judge who has won cases against the drug cartel?" Mitchell asked.

"I am unfamiliar with this particular judge," McConnell said. "I did say the other day, and I will say again today, I thought it was completely unfortunate and unnecessary for our nominee to attack the governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, who I knew well as the chairman of the Governors Association, one of our outstanding Governors. I think these attacks don't serve the candidate very well at this point.

"We ought to be trying to unify, he ought to be trying to unify the party behind him. Most of us are committed to supporting him and trying to bring the party together, and I think he needs to play his role on all of that as well."

Trump has since walked back on his remarks and asked for Martinez's endorsement.