Donald Trump’s comments ‘racist and dangerous’ - Kenny
Taoiseach tells Dáil that Americans have alternative candidate to vote for
Pressed in the Dáil during Taoiseach’s question time on Tuesday about his reaction to Mr Trump’s comments about immigration and the Middle East, Mr Kenny said: “If Trump’s comments are racist and dangerous, which they are, there is an alternative to vote for.”
Mr Kenny’s unexpectedly trenchant observation about the Republican presidential candidate was made in response to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, who asked him to stand up for some basic principles.
“What has been articulated in the US election is worrying.
“It is not acceptable for democrats to speak in the way Donald Trump has about various religions and ethnic groups and about building walls. It sets an appalling example for how the free world should speak and articulate,” said Mr Martin.
The Taoiseach in response made his negative remarks about Mr Trump, although in response to earlier questions he said he could not presume to determine what decision the US electorate would make between the Republican and Democratic contenders.
Mr Kenny added he disagreed with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s view on the Norwegian Air deal to fly from Cork to the United States.
“There will be two candidates in the election, and it will be a matter for the US people. Whoever is elected by the US electorate, the world will have to deal with that decision. This is always how it has been following presidential elections,” the Taoiseach said.
On a recent trip to Washington, Mr Kenny had refused to be drawn into commenting on Mr Trump’s controversial views, saying it was not for him to comment on who the next US president should be.
He described the inevitable electoral contest between Mr Trump and Ms Clinton as “a matter for the American electorate” but he conceded the debate had been “very provocative and divisive”.
Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar has described remarks by Mr Trump as “sexist” and “misognyistic”.
Speaking at a book launch on Tuesdaym Mr Varadkar said: “I think any reasonable person would agree some of the comments he’s made are racist, particularly in relation to latinos and also many of the things he has said are sexist and don’t show a positive attitude towards women. But ultimately it is up to American citizens to determine who their president is. But I know how most Irish people would vote.”
He added: “We will of course work with whoever Americans decide to elect as president. But I don’t think there can be any doubt that many of the speeches he has made were racist and showed a very misogynistic attitude to women.”
It is not the first time that Mr Trump has provoked controversy in Ireland. In 2014, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan had to defend his participation in a welcoming party for the billionaire businessman at Shannon Airport.
A harpist, singer and violinist joined local dignitaries to greet Mr Trump on a red carpet before he visited the Doonbeg golf resort in Co Clare, which he purchased for €15 million.
The event was criticised by some commentators who accused the welcoming party of “bowing and scraping” to Mr Trump.
Mr Trump and Ms Clinton are neck and neck in the polls.
The Republican candidate has weathered months of criticism from all ends of the political spectrum for his immigration policy, which calls for the building of a wall along the US-Mexico border and deporting of nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants who reside in the United States. Critics have said his plan is needlessly cruel and impossible to implement.
However, at Mr Trump’s campaign stops, attendees often chant: “Build the wall.”