Trump Slams Republicans Worried About Racist Comments for Being Too ‘Politically Correct’

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Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Makes Primary Night Remarks
It's a criticism that worked on the campaign trail, but it might not in the months to come. Photo: John Moore/2016 Getty Images

Just hours before he promised to stop his attacks on U.S. district judge Gonzalo Curiel, Donald Trump was still defending his remarks. In an interview with the New York Times conducted Tuesday afternoon and published today, Trump bashed other Republican leaders for showing concern over his claims that Curiel shouldn’t preside over a Trump University case because Curiel’s Mexican heritage was an “inherent conflict of interest.” Trump blamed their qualms on political correctness and, according to the Times, “lack of backbone.”

Politicians are so politically correct anymore, they can’t breathe,” he said. “The people are tired of this political correctness when things are said that are totally fine. It is out of control. It is gridlock with their mouths.”

He went on to reiterate his well-trodden point that his own lack of political correctness — and his nontraditional methods and viewpoints — are what got him to the forefront of the GOP in the first place:

I disagree with a lot of things I’ve watched in politics over the years, that’s why I’m running,” Mr. Trump said over a meatball lunch he barely touched in the restaurant of Trump Tower. “And that may make me less popular with politicians. But I have to be honest. I didn’t get there by doing it the way a lot of these people do it.”

“People want people to represent them who are going to stick up for what they believe in,” Mr. Trump said. “Politicians have been very weak and very ineffective over the last quite long period of time.”

The problem, of course, is that the primaries are over, and Trump is now tasked with impressing the very politicians he badmouthed on the campaign trail. Even as he gave the Times interview, Trump was apparently dithering over whether to retract the anti-Curiel statements; he eventually released a statement that was less of an apology and more of a “how dare you misunderstand me.” 

But, somehow, Trump thinks this will all blow over. “I think I will get along with the politicians actually,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work on the other side of politics, and I’ve always gotten what I want.”

Trump: Racist Comments ‘Totally Fine’