Trump attack on Governor Martinez draws national attention


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Donald Trump didn’t take Governor Susana Martinez standing him up at his Albuquerque rally lying down.

The relationship between Trump and Gov. Martinez had been frosty at best before, but a day after the governor said she’d skip Trump’s rally because she was “really busy,” Trump laid into her about the state’s economy.

“We have to get your governor to get going. Sheโ€™s gotta do a better job, okay? Your governor has got to do a better job. Sheโ€™s not doing the job. Hey, maybe I’ll run for governor of New Mexico. I’ll get this place going. She’s not doing the job,” said Trump.

That comment has led to a lot of national media coverage, including stories in the Washington Post, New York Times and USA Today.

Governor Martinez has not been a Trump supporter, endorsing Marco Rubio earlier in the primary and criticizing the New York businessman’s comments on Mexican immigrants. Her office’s response to Trump after Tuesday night: She won’t be bullied into endorsing him. The statement also criticized Trump’s political pot shots, saying she’s waiting to hear him address how he’ll help the state.

Rubio himself sent out a tweet in support of Martinez Wednesday, calling her one of the most hard working and effective governors in the country.

Meanwhile the New Mexico GOP renewed its call for party unity in a statement:

We need all Republicans to unify behind our nominee and it’s unfortunate that we can’t put these distractions behind us and work together to defeat Hillary Clinton in the fall, who every Republican can agree would be a disastrous president.

Despite pressure to rally around Trump as the party’s nominee, Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor R.J. Berry have both kept their distance so far.

University of New Mexico Political Science Professor Gabriel Sanchez says both are likely thinking long term.

“I would suggest those folks, including the mayor, look at the lack of favorability of Trump across the state and realize being attached to Donald Trump is probably not good for their political futures,” said Sanchez.

Sanchez says this latest scuffle should end any speculation that Martinez would be Trump’s running mate, and likely hurts Trump’s chances of winning the state in November.

“All this discussion about will she end up on the ticket, will she formally endorse Trump I think that pretty much solidified that that’s not going to happen,” Sanchez said.

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