All five Republicans appearing on the primary ballot for U.S. Senate in Colorado agreed that Trump’s recent comments on a federal judge were racist.
Trump made the claim that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is unable to fairly hear a case against him due to Curiel’s “Mexican heritage.”
Curiel is not a Mexican, though his parents were. He was born in Indiana.
While all five Senate candidates in Colorado ultimately agreed the remarks were racist, they differed in how that affects their stance on Trump.
Former Aurora city councilman Ryan Frazier and former CSU athletic director Jack Graham both kept their hands down when asked whether they’d commit now to backing Trump all the way through to the November election.
Graham went furthest in his criticism, saying that Trump has currently lost his support. Graham also said Trump could earn his support back.
“[Trump] must own this and he must apologize for what he has said if he expects to earn my support,” Graham said.
Frazier stopped short of saying Trump has lost his support already and seemed to make a hopeful plea to his party’s presumptive nominee.
“[Trump] said something that was really stupid and quite frankly offended me as a man, as a father, as a black Republican,” Frazier said. “But I want to give this gentleman an opportunity to show us over time whether in fact he is ready to lead our country, because I want a Republican nominee I can work with.”
Three candidates kept raised their hands when asked whether they’d back Trump all the way: El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn, Businessman Robert Blaha, and former state legislator Jon Keyser.
“I take that statement at face value as a racist statement,” said El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn. “I will be supporting Mr. Trump as our presumed nominee. The alternative is unacceptable.”
Businessman Robert Blaha offered a GOP loyalist defense of his commitment to back Trump all the way through November.
“It is a racist comment and as somebody that has Hispanic people in our family, I’ll tell you that it is very offensive,” Blaha said. “However, he has not lost my support for this reason: I’m a Republican, I’m running as a Republican, he is the presumed nominee.”
“That sounds certainly like it’s something that’s racist to me,” Keyser said.