Donald Trump's comments about the judge presiding over the lawsuit against his namesake university are "very disturbing" and put him at a new level that could put the Republican Party in "big trouble," Sen. Jeff Flake said Monday.
"It's not just you know, ill-informed or ignorant statements, but they suggest that when he's president, after November, that perhaps he ought to go after that judge," the Arizona Republican told MSNBC's
"Morning Joe" program Monday.
Flake does not endorse Trump, telling the program that "he was not my first choice nor my 17th choice," but as the nominee, the party will "have to deal with that. I hope that he changes. We haven't yet seen that."
Show host Joe Scarborough, while commenting on Trump's criticisms of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel's Mexican heritage, pointed out that Curiel was born in Indiana and is indeed an American citizen.
"This sounds like Nuremberg," Scarborough said, making a comparison to the site of several Nazi rallies during World War II and the site of the war crime trials after the war's end. "Are you 132nd Jewish? Are you 1/16 black, 1/8 Mexican. What standard is this? It's not American."
Flake said that with Trump's comments, "he's just trying to confirm that stereotype" that some have against his party by believing that people of a certain gender or race vote a certain way.
"It's just, it's offensive," said Flake. "And this week it was a whole new level."
The Arizona senator admitted that it is "uncomfortable not having endorsed the Republican nominee," and he hopes he'll eventually be able to support Trump, as he does not think there is time for a third-party candidate at this point. Further, party leaders are trying to mold Trump, but it isn't working.
Trump did win in Arizona's primary, Flake said, but there is a "big difference between winning a primary and winning a general election," and Trump will have trouble in Arizona should he continue to stake out his current positions.
Flake said he's not just worried about Latino voters in his state, Latinos make up just 33 percent of the population, and even less when it comes to registered voters and turnout.
"I worry about that, but I worry more about the broader electorate," said Flake of his state.
"Right-thinking Republicans want somebody who is serious, for example, on immigration reform, and saying that we're going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it is not a serious proposal. They want serious proposals on how to deal with this war on terrorism saying that you're going ban Muslims from entering the country is not a serious proposal."
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