Republican senator denounces Trump's 'blatantly racist remarks'
Don't be looking for Republican state Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah at Donald Trump's big rally in Tampa on Saturday. Garcia issued a statement Wednesday denouncing Trump for his "blatantly racist remarks" about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.
Garcia's full statement follows:
"I am deeply concerned about Mr. Trump’s comments towards Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Judge Curiel is an honorable American, who has served his state and his country with dignity and respect. The point at issue with Mr. Trump’s words transcend party politics; the structure embedded in our Constitution calls on the judiciary to interpret the laws in good faith with its people, it is critical that the independence and standing of the American judiciary be preserved and protected from the dangers of racism, bigotry, and demagoguery.
"These demeaning words seek to divide the country among racial lines, and that is simply contrary to the American values that have made our country great. It is shameful that Mr. Trump is using his public profile to force pressure on a reputable member of the federal judiciary to affect the outcome of a private civil matter. Republican or Democrat, black or white, we must stand in solidarity and denounce these blatantly racist remarks."
The liberal group Florida Strong has denounced other Miami-Dade legislators for their prolonged silence on Trump. The group said Wednesday: "As members of the Republican Party nationwide run from Donald Trump's racist rhetoric, senators (Anitere) Flores, (Miguel) Diaz de la Portilla and Rep. (Frank) Artiles remain tongue-tied. Lawmakers' silence and lack of backbone say enough as they continue to enable their party's bigoted bully. Sad!"
Garcia, 41, is currently unopposed in his campaign for re-election to the Florida Senate.