It’s a good thing that Trump supporters have had the time to develop their capacity to withstand embarrassment during Trump’s march to the GOP nomination this spring. By now it must be as big as the man’s, well, you know what. Which is a good thing, because he’s still testing the limits.
Most recently, speaking before a packed rally in San Diego, Trump unloaded on the judge hearing the Trump U case. The judge — Gonzalo Curiel — he’s a Mexican, Trump believes, but that’s “great” and “fine.” (Judge Curiel’s parents are Mexican, but Curiel was born in East Chicago, Indiana, which is probably also “great.” Anyway, it’s close enough for government work.)
The best defense, as we all know, is a good offense. Here is Trump on offense, via the Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein:
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Mr. Trump said, as the crowd of several thousand booed. “He is not doing the right thing. And I figure, what the hell? Why not talk about it for two minutes?”
Mr. Trump spoke for far more than two minutes about Judge Curiel and the Trump University case–he devoted 12 minutes of a 58-minute address to the litigation, which is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego federal court Nov. 28. Mr. Trump’s attorney said earlier this month that Mr. Trump would testify in the six-year-old case.
The plaintiffs in the Trump University case, whom Mr. Trump also condemned by name Friday, accuse him and the now-defunct school of defrauding people who paid up to $35,000 for real estate advice. Mr. Trump said Friday that Trump University received “mostly unbelievable reviews” from its 10,000 students.
To the San Diego crowd, Mr. Trump argued that Judge Curiel should be removed from the case because he is biased against him. The evidence Mr. Trump presented: Rulings against him and the fact that Judge Curi[e]l was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama. The Senate confirmed Judge Curiel by a voice vote in September 2012.
An aide in Judge Curiel’s chambers on Friday said the judicial code of conduct prevents him from responding to Mr. Trump.
“We’re in front of a very hostile judge,” Mr. Trump said. “The judge was appointed by Barack Obama, federal judge. Frankly, he should recuse himself because he’s given us ruling after ruling after ruling, negative, negative, negative.”
Mr. Trump also told the audience, which had previously chanted the Republican standard-bearer’s signature “build that wall” mantra in reference to Mr. Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border, that Judge Curiel is “Mexican.”
“What happens is the judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican, which is great. I think that’s fine,” Mr. Trump said.
If it’s “great” and “fine” that Judge Curiel is “Mexican,” why mention it? Here Trump dropped a footnote: “You know what? I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump when I give all these jobs, OK?”
Epstein pauses to note that Curiel was born in Indiana and then concludes his account:
Mr. Trump told the crowd he looks forward to returning to San Diego for the trial in November and asked for an investigation into Judge Curiel for reasons he did not specify.
“I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m telling you, this court system, judges in this court system, federal court, they ought to look into Judge Curiel. Because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace, OK? But we’ll come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I’m president and I come back to do a civil case? Where everybody likes it. OK. This is called life, folks.”
If Judge Curiel ought to be ashamed of himself, he’s not the only one. Trump is disgracing himself, his supporters, and, now, the party of Lincoln.
The two-minute video clip below was excerpted from the speech by the Associated Press omitting the “Mexican” shtick.