David Brooks: Trump's "Slur" Is "Culture War Politics Of The Worst Sort," "Essential" Jeb, Rubio Distance Themselves


JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: I want to ask you both about something else that’s come up. And that is comments that Donald Trump, who announced a few days ago he’s running for president, has made about Mexicans.

And here’s a quote from Donald Trump. “I love the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border that are from all over, and they are bad. I’m talking about people that are from all over that are killers and rapists.”

Big reaction, Mark, on the Republican side to this. What does this mean for the Republican field? The other candidates, are their comments appropriate, given what Donald Trump is saying?

MARK SHIELDS: I guess I disagree with your question, in a sense that I don’t think there has been a big reaction for the Republican side.

They want him to go away. And when the moral leadership of the Republican Party, on the nation rests on — in the hands of Univision, NBC and Macy’s department store, who have objected and have…

JUDY WOODRUFF: And separated…

MARK SHIELDS: … severed relations with Donald Trump…


MARK SHIELDS: Donald Trump, I mean, this has been bad for the brand and it’s bad for business, but it’s worse for the Republican Party. It’s worse for the national debate.

This man’s going to be on the stage, and he’s a disaster for the Republicans, in addition to being a messenger of division and hatred.

JUDY WOODRUFF: David, just 20 seconds.

DAVID BROOKS: It’s an actual crucial moment for the Republican Party. This was a slur, a completely inaccurate slur. It’s culture war politics of the worst sort.

If the Republican Party can’t stand up at this moment against this guy and make the obvious accurate case, then there will be in long-term trouble with Hispanics. They will be in short-term trouble because they will have self-polarized themselves.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You do think the other candidates will say something about this?

DAVID BROOKS: Not Ted Cruz so far. But I’m waiting for the others.

It’s really essential that the Bushes and the Rubios say something.

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