By Juliegrace Brufke
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk retracted his endorsement of presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump Tuesday, following the billionaire’s remarks that a Mexican judge wouldn’t be able to fairly preside over the civil fraud lawsuit against Trump University, because of Trump’s plan to build a wall.
“I have spent my life building bridges and tearing down barriers – not building walls,” Kirk said in a statement. “That’s why I find Donald Trump’s belief that an American-born judge of Mexican descent is incapable of fairly presiding over his case is not only dead wrong, it is un-American.”
The GOP lawmaker said the country needs a leader with a presidential temperament, which he doesn’t believe the real-estate mogul possesses.
“As the presidential campaign progressed, I was hoping the rhetoric would tone down and reflect a campaign that was inclusive, thoughtful and principled,” he continued. “While I oppose the Democratic nominee, Donald Trump’s latest statements, in context with past attacks on Hispanics, women and the disabled like me, make it certain that I cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for president regardless of the political impact on my candidacy or the Republican Party.”
Trump slammed U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born to Mexican parents in the United States, Friday, telling The Wall Street Journal his push to build a wall along the Mexican border presents “an inherent conflict of interest” in the impartiality of his case.
“After much consideration, I have concluded that Donald Trump has not demonstrated the temperament necessary to assume the greatest office in the world,” Kirk concluded.
Several politicians have denounced Trumps comments, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who called the comments “the definition of racism.”