Donald Trump smacked New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on her home turf in the wake of her not attending his rally and being critical of some of his statements.
Martinez, who is chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, told local reporters that she was too busy to attend Trump’s rally and instead would focus on job creation and education.
In turn, Trump reacted by highlighting the fact that the number of unemployed people in Albuquerque has nearly doubled.
“Is it your fault or is it your government’s fault?” Trump asked the crowd.
Similarly, Trump highlighted the number of people on food stamps in New Mexico since 2000.
“Maybe I’ll run for governor of New Mexico, I’ll get this place going,” Trump said to applause.
Trump pivoted to the fact Syrian refugees are being relocated to New Mexico, leading to the audience booing.
“If I was governor that wouldn’t be happening,” he said. “They say the governors have no choice. If I’m governor, I have a choice.”
Martinez spokesman Mike Lonergan pointed out in a statement that she has only been governor for five of the years Trump cited.
“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 until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans. 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.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, whom Martinez endorsed during the primaries, defended her on Twitter.
The truth is @ Gov_Martinez is one of the hardest working and most effective Governors in America. https://t.co/QcADopQCYe
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 25, 2016
Trump’s rally was again marred by violence outside when a group of protesters clashed with police, throwing rocks and bottles and injuring at least two police officers, according to media reports.