After over a year of criticism of Donald Trump over his remarks on a number of issues, including Mexican immigrants, Gov. Susana Martinez said she believes he was a better choice than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
That’s the word from a written statement from Martinez to media outlets. NM Political Report did not receive the statement from Martinez.
“I may have taken issue with some of the rhetoric on the campaign trail, but I believe that President-elect Trump was a better choice than Hillary Clinton, and I congratulate him on his hard-fought victory,” Martinez said.
Trump himself went after Martinez in a May campaign appearance in Albuquerque.
“We have to get your governor going,” Trump told a cheering crowd. “She’s got to do a better job, OK? Your governor has to do a better job. She’s not doing the job!”
In October, Martinez confirmed that she would not support Trump in the election after the release of audio from 2005 where Trump bragged that he would grab women “by the pussy” and kiss them without permission.
The New Mexico governor’s criticisms of Trump began after he entered the race for the Republican nomination.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems, they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists and some I assume are good people,” Trump said in New York City last June.
“I think those are horrible things to say about anyone or any culture … anyone of any ethnicity,” Martinez said last July. “I mean, that is uncalled for… completely.”
Trump easily won enough electoral votes to win the presidency, but lost New Mexico’s five electoral votes, where voters preferred Clinton by an 8 percentage point margin.
Clinton won the country’s overall popular vote.
“I hope that New Mexicans will come together, as President-elect Trump urged us to do, and join me in wishing the very best for the future of our nation,” Martinez’s statement continued.
Martinez herself saw mixed results in the elections Sunday.
Martinez heads the Republican Governors Association, and three more Republicans won election to gubernatorial seats from Democrats. Republicans now control the most amount of governor’s mansions since 1922.
In New Mexico, a Super PAC with ties to her top political adviser Jay McCleskey spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, the Democratic leader who has been a thorn in the side of Martinez and Republicans for her entire term.
At the same time, it appears Democrats extended their majority in the state Senate and, more importantly, took control of the House of Representatives.
On the presidential level, Martinez endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the Republican primary, a departure for Martinez. In 2012, the nation’s only Latina governor did not endorse any candidate for president until after the Republican primary, when she backed Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Shortly after her endorsement of Rubio, the Florida senator dropped out of the race.