After a majority of Americans opted for “free stuff” instead of Mitt Romney in 2012, the GOP conducted an autopsy on its nominee’s failed campaign. The party concluded that it needed to recalibrate its policies and messaging to appeal to three groups of voters that were turning bluer by the day: Latinos, women, and young people.
Three and half years later, the presumptive GOP nominee — an old, white, misogynistic billionaire campaigning on a platform of mass deportation — suggested the Republican Latina governor of New Mexico might be too lazy to do her job, while young protesters clashed with police in a haze of smoke bombs just outside the rally’s gates.
“Since 2000, the number of people on food stamps in New Mexico has tripled. We have to get your governor to get going,” Trump told a crowd of thousands in Albuquerque Tuesday night. “She’s got to a better job, OK? Your governor has got to do a better job. She’s not doing the job.”
Governor Susana Martinez was supposed to be a major presence on the 2016 campaign trail. While Martinez was not yet ready to run for the presidency herself, the GOP had hoped to see her stumping for Jeb Bush in 2016, providing Hispanic swing voters with a living, breathing preview of the party’s future. The Establishment’s attachment to this vision is so strong, they’re still clinging to it now that Trump is the nominee, floating Martinez as the potential vice-presidential pick of a man she clearly despises.
But Martinez was too “busy” to attend Trump’s rally Tuesday night and has refused to give the Donald her endorsement. And so the former Apprentice host told her constituents they may need to fire her.
“Hey! Maybe I’ll run for governor of New Mexico! I’ll get this place going,” Trump mused. “She’s not doing the job. We got to get her moving, come on let’s go governor!”
He went on to chastise Martinez for refusing to nullify federal law for the sake of keeping Syrian refugees out of her state.
“Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico. If I was governor, that wouldn’t be happening,” Trump said. “They say the governors have no choice, but if I’m governor, I have a choice, believe me.”
Martinez’s office issued a statement in response to the Donald’s ravings.
“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,” the statement said. “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 and she did not hear that today.”
Another former candidate for “the future of the Republican Party” came to Martinez’s defense.
For now, though, this is Donald Trump’s party — a coalition of white dudes, Caucasian males, and European American men.
“They say I’m setting records with men — it’s so unexciting to me,” Trump told New Mexico. “I want to set records with women, not with men.”