Donald Trump had a very Trump-ish weekend. During a Saturday rally held in Phoenix, the presidential candidate promised a group of nouveau Know-Nothings that he would banish “the illegals.” “This has become a movement,” Trump said. “The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back ... the word is getting out that we have to stop illegal immigration.” His comments played well to the sizable crowd who, according to The Guardian, chanted “USA! USA!” and held homemade signs celebrating Trump’s truth-telling.
Now Trump’s fellow Republicans are beginning to push back on his pandering, racist rhetoric. Jeb Bush was the first, and this morning South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham joined the fray. “We have to reject this demagogue,” Graham told CNN. “If we don’t we will lose and we will deserve to lose.”
Trump’s stance had created a “defining moment” for all Republican presidential candidates, Graham said, calling on all of them – as well as Reince Preibus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who this week called Trump, fruitlessly, to ask him to tone down his rhetoric – to reject his ideas.
Graham also called Trump a “wrecking ball” and worried that his words would alienate Latino voters.
Not every Republican in the primary has been as clear as Graham and Bush. Ted Cruz is taking the “ignore him and he’ll go away route,” and also-running Carly Fiorina said on ABC this morning that Trump was “not extreme,” but that his anger was “common sense.”
Would it be so easy to forget or ignore Trump, but it’s not quite that simple. According to the latest poll numbers, Trump is polling second in the GOP primary field, sitting behind Bush and well ahead of Graham.
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