Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump hasn’t tweeted in over 16 hours. This may have something to do with the fact that, since making Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s ethnicity his most popular talking point, neither Trump, his supporters and detractors, nor the media at large have been able to shut up about the matter. With all the bad (but free) publicity, perhaps the Donald decided to do something he’d never really done since last summer and keep his yuuuge, definitely not small hands away from his smartphone.
Previously vocal supporters like Newt Gingrich and restrained-but-committed voters like Paul Ryan have condemned Trump’s racist comments about Curiel’s “Mexican heritage.” Gingrich and those of his ilk had taken issue with Trump’s repeated attacks against Curiel, pointing out that he’s from Indiana and therefore an American, but many of them haven’t outright debunked the leading Republican’s complaints about possible bias in his Trump University fraud case.
Ryan, however, hasn’t held back his disgust at Trump’s ongoing public tussle with Judge Curiel. On Tuesday, the Speaker of the House made his clearest objections to the comments, which he described as the “textbook definition” of racism:
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
No, this doesn’t mean that the Wisconsin representative would switch parties and align himself with presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But it also highlights Ryan’s (and many other Republicans) increasingly public concerns with Trump’s candidacy.
Enter “friend” and former presidential opponent Chris Christie, who defended Trump during a subsequent press conference in New Jersey. Instead of aligning himself with fellow party members Gingrich and Ryan, the Governor of New Jersey stood beside his orange-faced “friend.” (Albeit metaphorically, because Trump was nowhere near the Q&A session.)