NEW YORK (CNN)–
Donald Trump isn’t backing down.
Univision dumped him. Then NBCUniversal did too. And now Macy’s has as well after more than 700,000 people called on the department store giant to do the same.
Amid the backlash over his comments about Mexican immigrants who he said are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” the billionaire and TV reality star is doubling down.
“Mexico is killing U.S. on trade,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday morning. “They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade. FIGHT!”
The Republican presidential candidate added that he loves “the Mexican people, but Mexico is not our friend” and that the U.S. must beef up its border security and stop illegal immigration.
On Tuesday, he announced he was suing Univision, which dropped the Miss Universe beauty pageant that Trump runs, for $500 million.
He hasn’t yet announced a suit against NBC — but said it could come too.
Mexico isn’t taking the comments lightly either, with the country’s pageant director Lupita Jones announcing later on Tuesday that Mexico will pull out of the Miss Universe pageant because of what she called Trump’s “racist comments.”
The comments were no different from those Trump has made in the nearly two weeks since he launched his presidential campaign and first made the controversial remarks.
He’s stuck to his rhetoric — with the addition that he loves Mexicans and Latinos — and continued to insist that undocumented immigrants pouring into the U.S. from Mexico are neither that country’s “best” nor their “brightest” — and that many are criminals, though not citing any specific statistics to back up that assertion.
The revealing numbers though come in the form of recent polls in New Hampshire and nationwide that show Trump’s business acumen and no-B.S. appeal resonating with voters.
Trump ranked second with 11% in a CNN/WMUR poll conducted of New Hampshire voters conducted after he launched his bid — just 5 points behind the frontrunner, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Trump’s comments drew a swell of outrage in the Latino community, which has called on Trump to apologize and on others to condemn the polarizing mogul and now presidential contender.
His opponents, though, have done their best to steer clear of the Trump controversy, preferring to dismiss his seriousness than address his claims.
Bush, whose wife is Mexican, came the closest to condemning Trump’s claims, telling reporters this weekend in Nevada that Trump is “wrong” and he doesn’t agree with him.
Another Republican presidential contender with Latino connections, Sen. Ted Cruz, whose father is Cuban, instead chose to defend Trump.
“I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific, I think he’s brash, I think he speaks the truth,” Cruz said Tuesday on Fox News, adding that he credits Trump “for focusing on an issue (illegal immigration) that needs to be focused on.”
But nearly a quarter-million people rallied in the other direction, signing on to a petition that calls on Macy’s to drop Trump-branded merchandise from its stores.
More than 728,000 people signed a petition on the progressive website MoveOn.org calling on Macy’s to “dump Trump” as of Wednesday morning. The petition, led by activist Angelo Carusone, drew more signatures than the identical effort to one led in 2012 after Trump pushed the false narrative that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and not the United States.
Trump had threatened to sue Carusone for $25 million as a result of his previous campaign.
There’s no lawsuit in sight for Carusone, so far, but Trump has already sued Univision and threatened NBC after they cut off ties to Trump and canceled their upcoming broadcasts of the Miss USA pageant — which Trump partially owns.
Trump, though, is relishing the fight, which is bolstering the personal brand he says he would take to the Oval Office, and onto the world stage.
“Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody,” he has said of the terrorist organization– just one of many groups Trump insists would feel the power of his iron fist, and will, if he were to become president.