With Donald Trump emerging as the Republican party’s most likely nominee for the U.S. presidency, we take a look at some of the controversies that his remarks generated during his campaign trail.
Being in the running for the top job in the country doesn’t seem to have held him back from speaking his mind; the 69-year-old billionaire has been an equal-opportunity offender on the campaign trail, making inflammatory comments about non-Republicans, Mexicans, Muslims, women, Indians, and not surprisingly, the party itself.
Though Mr. Trump has run for President before, it is the first time his candidacy has acquired such seriousness.
‘Mexicans are rapists’
Building a wall to keep illegal Mexican immigrants from entering the U.S. has been one of Mr. Trump’s biggest talking points. And the way he began going about it was to call Mexicans rapists.
When Pope Francis called him out for acting un-Christian, Mr. Trump then took on the Catholic leader. “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” he said. The Pope is Mexico’s “pawn,” he asserted, adding that if the Vatican were attacked by the Islamic State, “the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president because this would not have happened.”
‘Ban all Muslims’
One of the first things Mr. Trump said during his run was to propose a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. The proposed ban would apply to immigrants and visitors alike, a sweeping prohibition affecting all adherents of Islam who want to come to the U.S. Mr. Trump’s campaign said in a statement that such a ban should stand “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Mr. Trump said in the statement.
Leaders, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, denounced the statement. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for, and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.”
But that hasn’t stopped Mr. Trump from sticking to his rhetoric. “Somebody in this country has to say what’s right. It’s short-term. Let our country get its act together,” he said.
Punishing women who have abortions
Creating more waves was the statement that women who have abortions should be punished. “There has to be some form of punishment,” he said. Asked what form he would advocate, Trump said: “That I don’t know.”
Even anti-abortion groups rose up against Mr. Trump’s statement, saying that was not in line with their stance. He then went back on his statement, only to say that doctors, and not women, should be punished.
Indian call centres
Mr. Trump also mocked Indian call centres. He said he called up his credit card company to find out whether their customer support is based in the U.S. or overseas.
“Guess what, you’re talking to a person from India. How the hell does that work?” he told his supporters in Delaware. “So I called up, under the guise I’m checking on my card, I said, ‘Where are you from?’” Mr. Trump said, and then he imitated the response from the call centre in a fake Indian accent: “We are from India,” Mr. Trump impersonated the response.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign jumped on the opportunity and immediately said that she will take relations with India to a new level and better economic and strategic ties with India will anchor the U.S. in the region. Her campaign manager also said that Mr. Trump was disrespectful.
The delegate system itself
Mr. Trump then turned to his own party, and began criticising the delegate process. “Honestly, I do wonder. I’m millions of votes ahead, which they don’t even mention, they don’t even talk about. They talk about delegates. And I’m hundreds of delegates ahead but the system is rigged, folks. It’s a rigged, disgusting dirty system,” he told his supporters at a rally in Albany in New York.
However, the party leadership rejected Mr. Trump’s allegations. “It’s the same process they used four years ago. I mean, it’s no different. Some states use a primary system to bind delegates. Some states use a caucus system to bind delegates. And some states use a convention system to bind delegates,” Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee said.
China is ‘raping’ U.S.
Mr. Trump’s poor choice of words got him into trouble again. He accused China of “raping” the U.S. “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said, referring to the country’s trade deficit with China.
But the analogy didn’t go unnoticed, what with Mr. Trump’s earlier sexist remarks against Hillary Clinton and the endorsement of boxer Mike Tyson, a man convicted of rape.