Local elected officials from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia had harsh language for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, as they condemned the billionaire real estate mogul’s recent remarks disparaging Mexican immigrants.
At an afternoon protest on Pennsylvania Avenue, some even called for Trump’s name to be removed from the federal building where he’s set to build a luxury hotel.
When Trump announced for president last month, he said immigrants coming across the Mexican border to the U.S. are “bringing drugs” and “bringing crime.”
“They’re rapists,” he added. “And some, I assume, are good people.”
The comments caused a media frenzy — and a headache for the Republican Party. On Thursday, they drew responses from local leaders in the capital region.
“Trump’s comments are idiotic and offensive,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, told NBC Washington.
“He should be embarrassed,” said D.C. Council member Anita Bonds, chair of the District’s Democratic Party, in a statement to InsideSources. “He should be embarrassed that he’s holding onto those kinds of thoughts, that he even has them.”
Fellow Council members David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, both progressive independents, echoed those sentiments.
“It’s really a disgrace, what he said,” Grosso told InsideSources. “It blows my mind that this could actually be someone running for president.”
In a statement, Silverman called Trump’s “bigoted rhetoric” deeply offensive.
“It has no place in our society and is certainly not welcome here in the District,” she said.
On Thursday afternoon, protesters gathered near the site of the future Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue — the Old Post Office Pavilion — and said the mogul’s development shouldn’t move forward.
Paul Strauss, one of D.C.’s non-voting U.S. senators, noted that the building is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Democrat said he and his fellow protesters were asking the agency to take Trump’s name, “which no longer stands for anything accept intolerance and hate speech,” off the public property.
“This is not a building that Donald Trump built,” Strauss said. “This is not a hotel on land that Donald Trump owns. This hotel is on the people’s land.”
Attendees at the protest included Jamie Raskin, a state senator from Maryland, and Arlington County Board member J. Walter Tejada of Virginia. They were joined by a few other members of the Maryland state legislature and the District’s congressional delegation — all Democrats or independents — as well as a crowd of about 100 additional demonstrators.