These GOP Candidates Are Standing Behind Donald Trump

Most of the Republican hopefuls have condemned the billionaire’s anti-immigrant rhetoric. Not these guys.

Donald Trump: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/18257524783/in/photolist-tPmA34-9KD2iF-5AZPwL-fNcrqH-4r8psj-9DUP8C-5xCNXa-66xQUQ-9RSFjp-9KFPLS-9KD26B-9KD2jM-9KFQ8q-9KFPXJ-9KD28v-9KD1Xt-9KFPGN-9KD23n-9KFPYo-9KFPQS-9KFQ7u-9KD1PF-9KD1SP-9bDCk2-6Vfoi4-5eHCFB-gLqZb-5w3H5-5HNnWj-9KD2dP-9KFPFb-9VQfNH-5sT5hx-5JLUuw-5JLMXf-tw8QHm-6iV6JB-66T1Y9-5JLEXY-5JM8ff-66NHZR-5j2evq-5JFxUF-6eZjV7-66T273-66NJhv-66NJ8X-66T1NQ-5V8833-5V3Dhk">Mike Licht</a>/Flickr; Ben Carson: Regina H. Boone/Zuma; Rick Santorum: Richard Ellis/Zuma; Ted Cruz: Jerry Mennenga/Zuma; US-Mexican Border: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/omaromar/3085615383/in/photolist-5GEzXe-5CraXy-q8xAGN-68NYri-nA16Mr-Buz7f-qqUZFH-Buzd3-2ci6ZU-qnQ8hC-qnQ6hA-qr5XLV-q8xAaq-q8yuSw-qoNQaN-qoNTs9-pu6Jem-294oM-rGt55g-puk7v8-pukbnM-5GJSgo-5GEzA2-29GTK-5Bq1HV-8YEqFJ-5koxwG-qqUT2v-qq7ct8-BuwHg-2HQW44-9ery4Y-35Fe3h-w9Qg-r4mpWf-qPqF7B-chZ3SN-68DZKE-aCdL2S-5GJRXm-cygLSJ-29GQu-pSLYY-3vgJg-5jeuM5-74tjp-29GYw-voAWS-rEnngq-294rd"> Omar Bárcena</a>/Flickr

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Following Donald Trump’s controversial comments suggesting that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” who bring drugs and crime to America, his fellow 2016 contenders have largely condemned his inflammatory remarks. But a handful of Republican hopefuls have either defended the real estate mogul or, in one case, fled a question on the subject to avoid going on the record.

Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson are standing behind Trump. They have defended (even applauded) the billionaire, in what might be attempts to appeal to conservatives opposed to immigration reform.

During an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration.” He chalked up Trump’s divisive rhetoric as a “colorful way of speaking.” According to Cruz, the controversy is merely an attempt by the media to get Republicans to criticize each other, but he is “not interested in Republican-on-Republican violence” and therefore “ain’t gonna do it.”

Rick Santorum also came out on #teamtrump. The former senator told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he did not like Trump’s “verbiage,” but said that Trump “focused on a very important issue for American workers, and particularly legal immigrants in this country.”

Referring to the storm that followed Trump’s remarks, Ben Carson contended that political correctness was overshadowing the debate about immigration reform. “It’s the P.C. police out in force,” Carson told the Daily Caller. “They want to make very clear that this is a topic you’re not supposed to bring up.” Carson, a former neurosurgeon, said that “our illegal immigration problem,” not Trump, should be the focus of attention. His solution? “Secure all our borders—north, south, east and west,” with electronic surveillance devices, drones, or people.

Rand Paul isn’t exactly on #teamtrump, but he has been conspicuously silent on Trump’s remarks. Last week, an Iowa voter posted a video to Twitter that showed her asking Paul for his opinion on Trump’s statement and being met with no reply.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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