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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 10, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 24
Trump 'surprised' people think he's an asshole
Section One
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Trump 'surprised' people think he's an asshole

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Republican presidential nominee-in-all-but-name Donald Trump told Time magazine he's 'surprised' that fellow Republicans criticized him for his race-baiting attack on Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

Curiel, a federal district judge since 2012, is hearing a lawsuit against Trump and his creation, Trump University. Trump has repeatedly charged that Curiel is biased against him because the judge 'is a Mexican.'

The remarks ignited a firestorm of controversy, with even Republican leaders calling them 'racist.'

In a June 8 interview with Time, Trump confessed that 'I was disappointed and surprised' by their criticism.

'I had just won more votes than anyone in the history of the party, so I was a little bit surprised when they said that,' Trump said. 'I didn't think it was necessary. But you know, they have to say what they have to say. I'm a big boy. They have to say what they have to say.'

The day before the Time interview, Trump released a statement saying he'd been misunderstood. He didn't mean the attack on Curiel to be interpreted 'as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage,' he claimed.

But by then the damage had already been done.

House Speaker Paul Ryan - who had formally endorsed Trump only hours before the verbal assault on Curiel's ethnic heritage - called his remarks the 'textbook definition of racist comments.'

'I regret these comments that he made,' Ryan said, adding that the comments were 'indefensible... I think that should be absolutely disavowed.'

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also castigated Trump for his comments, calling on him to 'get on message.'

'We have plenty of issues,' McConnell told reporters. 'And my advice to our nominee would be to start talking about the issues that the American people care about and to start doing it now.

'In addition to that, it's time to quit attacking various people that you competed with or with various minority groups in the country and get on message,' he said. 'This election is eminently winnable.'

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders emerged from a June 9 meeting with Pres. Obama to tell reporters he 'looked forward' to working with rival Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump.

'I spoke briefly to Secretary Clinton on Tuesday night and I congratulated her on her very strong campaign,' Sanders told reporters.

'I look forward to meeting with her in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the one percent.'

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