Donald Trump made a rare show of the white flag Tuesday, vowing to stop commenting on the Trump University case and, by implication, ending his criticism of the judge in the case and references to the judge’s Mexican heritage.
Trump said in a statement released by his campaign this afternoon:
Due to what I believe are unfair and mistaken rulings in this case and the Judge’s reported associations with certain professional organizations, questions were raised regarding the Obama appointed Judge’s impartiality. It is a fair question. I hope it is not the case.
While this lawsuit should have been dismissed, it is now scheduled for trial in November. I do not intend to comment on this matter any further.
Nevertheless, Trump did not apologize, nor did he express regret.
It is unfortunate that my comments have been misconstrued as a categorical attack against people of Mexican heritage. I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent. The American justice system relies on fair and impartial judges. All judges should be held to that standard. I do not feel that one’s heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial.
Normally, legal issues in a civil case would be heard in a neutral environment. However, given my unique circumstances as nominee of the Republican Party and the core issues of my campaign that focus on illegal immigration, jobs and unfair trade, I have concerns as to my ability to receive a fair trial.
Trump needed to stanch the bleeding, which he did. But the damage is done. He needs at least some enthusiasm from the establishment of the Party, which is going to run the effort get out the vote and other technical operations that he needs, since his campaign is too disorganized to do it. He has harmed an alliance he needs to build with people he rightfully ran against, and hurt his standing with voters on the fence about backing him.