Donald Trump is not the most cautious speaker in the Republican presidential primary field. The Donald speaks his mind -- and it is this personality trait that often lands the red-topped billionaire in political, and often legal, hot water.
The outspoken real estate mogul, whose net worth is currently valued at US$4.1 billion, has most recently been on the receiving end of a torrent of criticism over comments suggesting Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and drug dealers.
Speaking at the New York launch of his presidential run on June 16, Mr. Trump said:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
A barrage of critical headlines and negative publicity ensued - and Macy’s, NBCUniversal and Univision, the Spanish-language broadcaster of the Miss Universe pageant, of which Mr. Trump owns 49 per cent, severed their commercial ties with the Republican contender shortly after.
In an attempt to justify pulling Donald Trump brand merchandise from its stores, which have been sold at Macy’s since 2004, the retail giant released the following statement:
“We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans [and] Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation."
“In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the statement continued.
But what about President Obama’s frank admission that some “gang-bangers” are crossing into the United States via its borders? Few media outlets have mentioned the President’s remarkable turn of phrase.
President Obama, holding a town hall meeting at Taylor Stratton Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, made the comment in response to an audience member who asked if there are plans to expand the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, for “sick migrant people”.
Addressing the audience in shirt sleeves, President Obama said:
“We were very clear that the Affordable Care Act didn’t apply to people who are not here legally - and that’s the law.
“We should not be encouraging illegal immigration. What we should be doing is setting up a smart, legal immigration system that doesn’t separate families, but does focus on making sure that people who are dangerous, people who are gang-bangers, or criminals, that we are deporting them as quickly as possible, that we are focusing our resources there, that we are focusing on a strong border.
“We have made improvements on all of those fronts, but we could be doing even more if we have immigration reform.”
President Obama continued, sparking a direct response from Mr. Trump.
Posting to his ‘realDonaldTrump’ Instagram account, Mr. Trump said:
“There are few occasions on which I agree with statements made by President Obama, however, his statement today reflects the serious problems associated with illegal immigration and the inability of politicians to secure our borders.
“The media and others have attempted to distort Mr. Trump’s remarks and portray him as a racist, when his remarks are far less controversial than President Obama’s.
“Where is the outcry from the liberal mainstream media demanding an apology from the President?”
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