Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attacked Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico during a speech in Albuquerque May 24 (video below).
"Since 2000, the number of people on food stamps in New Mexico has tripled," Trump said. "We have to get your governor to get going. She's gotta do a better job, OK? Your governor has got to do a better job."
The GOP crowd cheered against the first female governor of their state.
"She's not doing the job," Trump added. "Hey, maybe I'll run for governor of New Mexico? I'll get this place going. She's not doing the job, we gotta get her moving, come on, let's go governor."
The Washington Post notes that Trump also attacked Martinez, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, for not doing more to oppose Syrian refugees, an immigration issue that is decided by the federal government, not the states.
Martinez’s press secretary, Mike Lonergan, fired back in a statement :
Apparently, Donald Trump doesn’t realize Governor Martinez wasn’t elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform, and has strongly opposed the President’s Syrian refugee plan. But the pot shots weren’t about policy, they were about politics. And the Governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate ... Governor Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her – she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She didn’t hear anything about that today.
Martinez told a gathering of eight Republican governors and about 60 wealthy donors in April that she was offended by Trump’s language toward immigrants. She also said that his wall idea for the U.S.-Mexico border and his plan to force Mexico to build the wall were unrealistic and irresponsible, members of the audience told the Washington Post.
During that same meeting, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina reportedly said that Trump could taint the GOP with his comments.