May 31, 2016

Trump campaign manager defends Martinez criticism


Andy Lyman

Donald Trump speaking at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Donald Trump’s controversial campaign manager defended Trump over his criticisms of Gov. Susana Martinez last week.


Andy Lyman

Donald Trump speaking at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

While at a rally in Albuquerque, Trump criticized Martinez’s record on employment and food benefits.

A spokesman for Martinez fired back and a host of establishment Republicans, including some who faced Trump in the Republican nomination, supported Martinez.

Corey Lewandowski said the attacks were nothing new.

“Outlining the economy of a specific location is something that he has done across the country, everywhere we’ve gone, because we need to highlight the problems that we have and what we’re going to do to fix those problems,” Lewandowski said while on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said that Trump would not apologize.

“Let’s get it right,” Lewandowski said. “This is not a Republican issue. This is not a Democratic issue. We stand by our statement.”

Some of the statements, like that “Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico” were false.

Since 2010, just ten Syrian refugees have been relocated to New Mexico. Martinez opposed the relocation of Syrian refugees to the United States, though governors have no say in where refugees are relocated.

Some pundits have questioned why Trump, who is well underwater among women and Latino voters, would attack the country’s only Latina governor, especially since she is a Republican.

Lewandowski claimed that Trump was leading among Hispanics. Democrats have received the Hispanic vote in presidential elections for decades, peaking in 2012 when Barack Obama won over 70 percent of the demographic in the general election.

Trump’s harsh rhetoric on immigration started when he spoke about Mexican immigrants during his speech announcing his campaign.

“They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Martinez declined to endorse Trump and did not attend Trump’s rally in Albuquerque last week. The top Republican public officials in the state did not attend, including Lt. Gov. John Sanchez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry.

Trump later said he believes that Martinez “will come over” and end up supporting him.

Lewandowski found himself at the center of controversy when he grabbed a reporter for Breitbart, the conservative website known recently for fawning coverage of Trump, by the arm when she tried to ask Trump a question. A court dismissed misdemeanor battery charges against him.

Lewandowski also has survived multiple attempts to lessen his role in the Trump campaign as things head toward the general election.