Haslam: Trump’s judge comments ‘indefensible’

Gov. Bill Haslam Wednesday joined the chorus of Republican officials to take issue with Donald Trump’s comments, which many have said are racist remarks, about a federal judge, reports The Tennessean.

Last week, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over a case involving Trump University, had a conflict of interest because of his “Mexican heritage.”

…Haslam called Trump’s initial comments “indefensible.”

“To say that because of someone’s heritage or their ethnicity that they are unable to provide fair judgement is just wrong. It’s just not how the judicial system works in our country and not how it ever can work,” the governor told The Tennessean.

When asked whether Trump’s remarks about Curiel had changed his feelings toward businessman, Haslam said, “I join a lot of others who say, as someone who is a first time candidate you have to realize that words matter and the things you say have a lot broader impact and I join those who are thinking that we hope that now that Trump is the Republican nominee there’s a shift toward a more thoughtful approach to how and what you communicate.”

Haslam has frequently expressed concern about several comments Trump has made, including those about Muslims, defeating the Islamic State with bombings and most recently Trump’s criticism of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.