Campaigning in Maine on Thursday, Donald Trump called for restrictions on immigrants from the Philippines and other countries with high rates of terrorism — and earned a rebuke from Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz in the process.
“Hillary Clinton wants to have them come in by the hundreds of thousands — just remember,” Trump was reported as saying by the Washington Post. “This has nothing to do with politics, folks. This is a whole different level. This has to do with pure, raw stupidity. OK?”
The comments did not get past Schatz, perhaps in part because the largest single ethnic group in Hawaii is Filipino, comprising more than one-fourth of the state population. He fired back with a statement decrying Trump’s “reckless rhetoric,” which he said “further proves he is unfit to lead our country.”
“For generations, Filipinos have made the United States their home,” said Schatz. “It is their vibrant culture, hard work and strong values that have enriched our communities and made this country great, not the ignorant, racist bigotry of Donald Trump.”
The Philippines are a major trading partner for Hawaii, and Filipino-Americans have long been among the Aloha State’s most visible citizens, among them former Gov. Ben Cayetano and singer Bruno Mars.
The Philippines weren’t the only country that came under criticism from Trump on Thursday. He also called out Iraq, Morocco, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Uzbekistan.
Trump’s erratic, often outrageous remarks on multiple topics over the past week, coming on the heels of what has been widely rated as a strong Democratic National Convention, have led to sizable and expanding polling leads for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
National polls released Thursday by NBC/Wall Street Journal and McClatchy/Marist put her in the lead by nine and 15 points, respectively, while polls from the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan gave her similarly large leads.
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