In an effort to calm rising criticism of his party’s relationship with people of color, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday disavowed Donald Trump‘s xenophobic comments about a judge of Mexican heritage.
Trump, the Republican presumptive presidential nominee, said U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel should not preside over a case involving his business because he is biased, according to CNN:
As he stood surrounded by community activists and top House GOP members, Ryan admitted Tuesday that the firestorm over Trump’s comments was undercutting his own push to roll out a positive policy agenda for his party. He said he wouldn’t defend Trump but instead would concentrate on his agenda project.
“I disavow those comments,” Ryan said.
Pressed on whether he regretted his own endorsement of Trump that came last week, Ryan added, “I regret those comments he made.”
“It’s absolutely unacceptable,” Ryan said. But he stood by his support for the controversial business mogul. “Do I think Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.”
The criticism appears disingenuous. Ryan and other Republican leaders were well-aware of Trump’s xenophobia before he became their party’s presumptive presidential nominee. The only difference now is Trump is forcing leaders to deal with their own misperceptions about race relations in America.
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SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform