Trump's Latest: U.S. a "Dumping Ground" for Mexico
Donald Trump insisted Monday that the outcry over his remarks about undocumented Mexican immigrants is rooted in “misunderstanding or misinterpretation,” and that the media “deliberately distorted” his remarks.
In a three-page statement released by his campaign, Trump did not walk back his comments, instead elaborating on and defending them.
“The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico, and, in fact, for many other parts of the world,” Trump said. “On the other hand, many fabulous people come in from Mexico and our country is better for it. But these people are here legally, and are severely hurt by those coming in illegally.”
Trump initially ignited controversy last month when he characterized illegal immigrants from Mexico as “rapists” during the unscripted stem-winder to launch his presidential campaign.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “...They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
Trump said Monday of his earlier remarks: “What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States.”
The statement comes after a lengthy roster of corporations, politicians and public figures have in recent days vocally objected to Trump’s phrasing and the rationale behind it, sparking not only a political firestorm but also causing grave damage to Trump’s business empire.
"I don't think (Trump) represents the Republican Party, and his views are way out of the mainstream of what most Republicans think," Jeb Bush said in New Hampshire over the weekend, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, Univision and NBC Universal abruptly ended their partnership with Trump to broadcast the Miss Universe pageant, while Macy’s and a handful of other corporations also cut ties with Trump.
Trump has in response filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision, and said in his statement Monday that “it was only after my significant rise in the polls that Univision, previously my friend, went ballistic.”
“I have always heard that it is very hard for a successful person to run for president,” Trump said. “Macy’s, NBC, Serta and NASCAR have all taken the weak and very sad position of being politically correct even though they are wrong in terms of what is good for our country.”
Trump added, “Univision, because 70 percent of their business comes from Mexico, in my opinion, is being dictated to by the Mexican government.”
Univision said in a statement when it cut ties with Trump that it was doing so as a result of his “insulting” comments.
Although Trump faces devastating business consequences for his remarks, he is not yet suffering tangible political repercussions. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Trump ranks third among Republicans in New Hampshire, and seventh nationally — placing him well within the top tier of Republican candidates for president.
In his statement Monday, Trump implied that he is being deliberately targeted as a result of that strong standing.
“After the speech was made, there were numerous compliments and indeed, many rave ‘reviews’—there was very little criticism,” Trump said. “It wasn’t until a week after my announcement that people started to totally distort these very easy to understand words.”