WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Bill Flores on Wednesday joined the chorus of GOP officials condemning their party's presumptive presidential nominee while pledging to vote for him. The Bryan congressman said he would not formally endorse Donald Trump, though the real estate magnate has his vote.
"I don't endorse people that bash judges based on his ethnic heritage," Flores told CNN.
Trump has come under fire for many comments since he launched his presidential campaign nearly a year ago. The breaking point for many Republicans on Capitol Hill came in the last week, when Trump questioned a federal judge's capacity for fairness in litigation involving his education enterprise, Trump University.
The federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel is a native-born American of Mexican descent. Trump attempted to tamp down negative reaction over the comments on Tuesday.
Flores wields influence among House Republicans as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a massive conservative voting bloc.
He also issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the presumptive Democratic nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Obama's policies before pivoting to Trump.
“Mr. Trump needs to show how he will address the critical issues on the minds of Americans: national security and economic opportunity for hardworking American families," he said. "Americans need to see more vision and less trash talk."
"I was incredibly angry to see Mr. Trump question a judge’s motives because of his ethnicity," he added. "Like tens of millions of Americans, I will not vote for Hillary Clinton and desire to vote for a bold, conservative leader. Mr. Trump can be that leader, and we are ready to help him when he focuses on vision instead of inappropriate attacks.”