April 19, 2016

Susana Martinez slams Trump at Koch-hosted event

Gov. Susana Martinez during the 2016 State of the State Address. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman.

Despite calls to talk about Donald Trump by the media and, mostly, the state Democratic Party, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has largely maintained her silence since her preferred candidate, Marco Rubio, dropped out.

Gov. Susana Martinez during the 2016 State of the State Address. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman.

Gov. Susana Martinez during the 2016 State of the State Address. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman.

This changed at a donor event this weekend, according to the Washington Post.

The Post reported that the chairwoman of the Republican Governor’s Association “did not mince words” and slammed Trump at the event held at the “mansion of billionaire David Koch” in Palm Beach, Florida.

She told the crowd of about 60 wealthy GOP backers that, as a Latina, she was offended by Trump’s language about immigrants. Noting her years working as a prosecutor on the Mexican border and now as a border-state governor, Martinez said Trump’s plan to build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it was unrealistic and irresponsible, according to multiple people in attendance.

It looks like Martinez isn’t getting on the Trump Train any time soon.

She wasn’t the only female governor to go after Trump, whose campaign has been dogged by extremely low approval ratings among women. Nikki Haley, the Republican governor of South Carolina also went after Trump. The Post says Haley expressed “concern that his rhetoric would taint the Republican brand.”

Republicans who are already politically established like Martinez and Haley have increasingly went after Trump in recent months.

Haley’s comments are not new; she endorsed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz after Rubio dropped out.

Martinez, however, has largely stayed out of the presidential battle in recent weeks.

At a New York State Republican Party gala attended by the three remaining Republican delegates, Martinez made a joke about how to settle the race.

“It’s been an interesting campaign,” she said. “Why don’t we just do ‘rock, paper, scissors’ and get it over with?”

Martinez was the guest of honor at that gala. She was introduced as a possible Vice Presidential candidate for Republicans. Martinez has consistently denied any ambitions for national office.

Earlier this month, New York Republican Party chairman Ed Cox mentioned Martinez as a possible Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

More from the Post on the event:

The comments by the two governors came during a lunch for current and prospective RGA donors, hosted by Koch, a major backer of the organization. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a former RGA chairman, moderated the session, which also was attended by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Martinez’s office did not respond to requests for comment from the Post.