Once again, Donald Trump parrots Democratic talking points in attacking a widely popular Republican Governor.
This week it was Susana Martinez, and earlier this cycle it was Scott Walker.
One of the issues that Sykes brought up with Trump was Trump’s criticism of Governor Scott Walker back when Walker was running for president. Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch recently said that “the [talk radio] hosts hear enough criticism about Wisconsin’s successful reforms from the left, and they’re not happy to hear distortions about them now from Donald Trump.” The fact that Trump used an attack more commonly heard from Democrats (that have been ruled “mostly false”) against Walker when Walker was still in the race still has many in Wisconsin angry.
By now, most people have seen that Trump attacked Martinez, New Mexico’s Governor, while at a rally in the state, claiming that “she’s not doing the job.”
In addition to serving as Governor of New Mexico, Martinez is also the Chair of the Republican Governors’ Association. Why would Trump attack her when he’s busy attempting to unite the party? If your guess is that he did it because she hasn’t endorsed him, you are almost certainly correct.
Most people probably perceived that Trump’s attack (predictably) made no sense. He continued to attack New Mexico’s performance since 2000, yet Martinez only took office in 2011.
As far as I can tell, no one has echoed Trump’s criticisms, and in fact, plenty of high profile Republicans have publicly sided with Martinez against him.
The communications director of the RNC has said that “I think as Republicans, as a party at least, we’re very proud that we elected the first Latina governor as a party, the first female governor in New Mexico, and she’s done a phenomenal job.” And he’s far from alone.
Scott Walker, who is the Vice Chair of the RGA, defended her against Trump’s attacks:
“Governor Susana Martinez has effectively driven conservative reforms in a blue state won twice by President Obama, while winning re-election by the largest margin by a Republican in state history. Governor Martinez also has a dedicated record of helping elect conservative governors across the country, and as RGA Chair this year, she is leading the charge in several states that are in dire need of real leadership, just like she has provided in New Mexico.”
Even though John Kasich is periodically mentioned as a possible VP choice for Trump (although I doubt it), he added his name to the list of Governors standing by his colleague.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush defended Martinez, while once again bashing Trump in the process.
Marco Rubio voiced his support for Martinez as well, tweeting:
In the past few days, there has been a lot of speculation as to whether Trump will be able to effectively unite the party, and stories like this only serve to prove the point that he has a long way to go.
Additionally, you can write off the likelihood of a Trump-Martinez ticket (sorry, Bill O’Reilly).