At his raucous rally in Albuquerque, presumptive GOP Republican nominee criticized many people, among them Gov. Susana Martinez.
Martinez, also the chair of the Republican Governors Association, which raises money and campaigns for GOP candidates across the country, has so far not endorsed Trump for president. She has also criticized Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants.
So Trump fired back.
First, he pulled out some unflattering Albuquerque and New Mexico statistics.
“You know, I have a person who’s a statistician,” Trump said. “He’s so excited by his job, he loves it. To me, it sounds like a pretty boring job. But every time I just say, ‘Do me a favor, get me the numbers on Albuquerque. Get me the numbers on New Mexico.’ OK?”
Trump then delved into some numbers, saying that the number of unemployed people in Albuquerque has nearly doubled since 2000. The number of food stamp recipients in the state, he said, has tripled since 2000.
“We have to get your governor going,” Trump said to cheers in the crowd. “She’s got to do a better job, OK? Your governor has to do a better job. She’s not doing the job!”
Then Trump argued that he could make a better New Mexico governor.
“Hey! Maybe I’ll run for governor of New Mexico!” Trump said, prompting more cheers. “I’ll get this place going. She’s not doing the job. We’ve got to get her moving. Come on, let’s go governor!”
Trump also claimed that “Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico.”
“If I was governor, that wouldn’t be happening,” he said. “I couldn’t care less. They say the governors have no choice. If I’m governor, I have a choice, believe me.”
NM Political Report reached out to the governor’s office about Trump’s remarks; we’ll update this post if we receive a response. Her office did, however, provide a comment to the Washington Post.
Mike Lonergan, Martinez’s press secretary, responded to Trump’s attacks in a statement late Tuesday night: “Apparently, Donald Trump doesn’t realize Governor Martinez wasn’t elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform, and has strongly opposed the President’s Syrian refugee plan. But the pot shots weren’t about policy, they were about politics. And the Governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans. Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her – she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She didn’t hear anything about that today.”
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the former GOP presidential candidate that Martinez endorsed and campaigned for just before he dropped out, came to her defense on Twitter.
The truth is @ Gov_Martinez is one of the hardest working and most effective Governors in America. https://t.co/QcADopQCYe
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 25, 2016
The state Democratic Party and the Democratic Governors Association has repeatedly criticized Martinez for not saying whether she’d commit to supporting Trump or not.
Below is the full video of Trump’s Albuquerque speech Tuesday night. His remarks about Martinez come around the 47-minute mark.