In the News

NM Governor on Trump: ‘Everyone is sick and tired of the rhetoric’

By Olivia P. Tallet

  • Laura Murillo, president & CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, speaks to Houston-area high school students during their fourth annual Women’s Leadership Conference & Business Expo, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Houston. ( Mark Mulligan / Houston Chronicle ) Photo: Mark Mulligan, Houston Chronicle / Houston Chronicle / © 2018 Houston Chronicle

 

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a two-term Republican, received vigorous applause Thursday when she was critical of President Donald Trump’s characterization of Mexican immigrants, saying that “everybody is sick and tired of the rhetoric” by the president.

Martinez gave the keynote speech in Houston for the opening of the Annual Women’s Conference & Business Expo, an event organized by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. More than 600 people attended the event focused on empowering women to reach their goals and to engage in business and politics.

Martinez told the audience that she had a back and forth with Trump “especially when he speaks about illegal immigrants…and making all those horrible comments about the type of people that come (into) the country.”

Martinez said she was “very appalled by his statement when, with one stroke of a brush, he made all people from Mexico (look like criminals), describing them in a way that was absolutely, totally unfair.”

Martinez didn’t explicitly say which comments she was referring to, but she earlier made national news when she was critical of then citizen Donald Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants when he announced his candidacy on June of 2015 at the Trump Tower in New York City. At that time, Trump said that “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Martinez announced that she would not support Trump following the release of the Access Hollywood tapes, in which Trump made crude remarks about sexual advances he made to women. Trump apologized for his remarks in Oct. 2016, after the tapes became a major issue in the final weeks of the campaign.

“No woman should ever be treated the way he claims he treated women,” said Martinez, in a statement she issued during the 2016 election. “Unfortunately, there is a pattern of disturbing conduct and offensive rhetoric that raises serious questions about his fitness to be President. That is why I have withheld my support from the very beginning, and will not support him now.”

However, at the event in Houston on Thursday, Martinez took a pragmatic view of supporting an elected leader.

“Whether you personally have feelings about the president or not, we have to want our leaders to be successful even if you didn’t vote for that person, because if that person fails, we fail,” she said.

Martinez, who cannot seek re-election this year as she has reached her two terms limits as governor, told the Houston Chronicle that she is not aiming for the presidency of the United States.

“I am not thinking to run (for President) at the moment,” she said. “My priority when I finish my term is to take care of two family members” who have health issues.

Asked if she thought she could be a good Republican contender in 2020 presidential elections, she laughed, repeating that “I need to take care of my family.”

As part of the event, the governor had a private meeting with over a hundred high school, minority students from the Houston Independent School District.

The students were addressed first by Laura Murillo, the President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Murillo, in a motivational talk, said that focusing on students is a philosophy of the business group because “we need to prepare them to be our future leaders.”

Addressing the broader audience, Murillo stressed the importance of developing “women leaders in the country, where only 2 percent of governors are women and (females account for only) 19 percent of the people in our Congress.”

Murillo said that by bringing high profile leaders to the Chamber’s events “the Hispanic Chamber and the City of Houston are showing the power that this community has.” She added that it has been an honor for her “to be part of a movement with emphasis on advancing the business community of Houston.”

Texas Senator Sylvia Garcia, who recently won the Democratic primary in the Congressional District 29 race in Houston, visited the conference and implored the audience to participate in the political processes by voting in the November general elections.

“Latinas are the future of Texas,” she told the audience.

The Business Expo program included panel discussions that addressed key topics such as how to start or jump-start a business, how to leverage mentorship programs and how to address workplace harassment for both employees and employers.

As published by the Houston Chronicle https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/NM-Governor-on-Trump-Everyone-is-sick-and-12757406.php#photo-15240634