Ahead of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s Thursday visit to New Jersey, Democratic senators and advocacy groups are standing together to condemn the appearance of Trump in the Garden State.
Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Senator Nellie Pou, Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, the Latino Action Network and the NAACP released a statement opposing Trump’s visit to Lawrenceville for a rally and fundraiser.
“In words and deeds Trump is instigating intolerance and division,” said Sweeney in a statement. “We cannot allow this rhetoric to go unchallenged particularly when Mr. Trump comes to our state. New Jersey’s greatest strength and asset is our diversity, our sense of inclusion as we live and understand that immigration is the foundation of our state and Nation. The President just praised New Jersey as a place where ‘America converges’ because he recognizes that we are a welcome destination and home to people of all backgrounds and origins. We are proud of that and we will speak out against Mr. Trump’s hateful views.”
According to a statement by the senators and advocacy groups, Trump’s visit to New Jersey is “bringing intolerance, hatred and division to one of the most diverse states in the nation.” The statement particularly targets Trump for statements he has made about Hispanic Americans during his campaign (he called Mexican-Americans “rapists” and supports building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico). Hispanics are the largest minority group in New Jersey.
“Donald Trump’s policies, politics and divisive rhetoric are not welcome here in New Jersey where we take pride in the value of our diversity,” said Pou. “We are a better state because of the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity and we are a better people when we promote social and economic justice for everyone. We choose to work together and we choose to bring people together.”
Trump’s Lawrenceville fundraiser will not be benefiting his own presidential campaign. Instead, Trump plans to raise money to help New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pay off the debts he acquired during his own presidential run.
Since ending his presidential campaign, Christie has become a vocal supporter of Trump and is on the short list for vice president, according to reports. Trump has named Christie as the head of his transition team.
New Jersey Citizen Action is planning a protest outside of the National Guard Armory where the fundraiser is taking place.