Here is a pretty sorry attempt at iron-manning Trump:
JOHN HEILEMANN (HOST): Let’s just say this first of all,Â when Trump does what he did inÂ that Tapper interview, and he did it over and over again, he kept callingÂ Curiel a Mexican, right? It is not even dog whistle politics.Â It is just pure racial politics.Â
MARK HALPERIN (HOST): No, itâ€™s not racial.
HEILEMANN: Itâ€™s racial politics. It is.
HALPERIN: Mexico isnâ€™t a race.
HEILEMANN: It doesn’t matter whether MexicoÂ is a race, itâ€™s stirring up racial animus about people who donâ€™t like Hispanics, and illegal immigrants coming across the border. Thatâ€™s what heâ€™s doing. Heâ€™s ringing the bell for them every time he does it. Heâ€™s not Mexican. He was born in Indiana. And eventually you can get Trump toÂ acknowledge that heâ€™s Mexican-American, itâ€™s his heritage thatâ€™s what heâ€™s doing here right? Then on top of that heÂ is a potential president of theÂ United States who has issued, over the course of the last week, vague threats, saying that theÂ judge should be investigated.Â It is wildly inappropriate andÂ yes, of course there are no politicalÂ benefits to this and Iâ€™m sure that his team is beating itâ€™s head against tables as they watch him blow news cycles behaving in this way that is again, I think racially tinged and also really wildly inappropriate things to say about a federal judge by someone who could be president of the United States.
HALPERIN: Itâ€™s certainly racially tinged. I just want to make the point that Mexico is not â€“ Mexican is not a race.Â
HEILEMANN: Â I am fully aware that Mexico is not aÂ race, but you can invoke thingsÂ like that to stir up racial animus regardless of whether or not Mexico is a race or not.Â
It’s no defense, by the way, of Trump that “Mexico is not a race.” I think it’s sufficient for one to be a racist, or racist-like, if they treat non-races, like Mexico, as if they were races. Â These are going to be interesting times, unfortunately.