Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) calmly accused Donald Trump of being “mentally unstable,” in a live TV interview Tuesday on CNN. He cited the Republican nominee’s relentless attacks on the parents of a deceased Muslim American soldier.
“This man is unstable, he’s unfit to be a presidential candidate,” Gallego said, in a matter-of-fact tone that seemed to catch CNN host Carol Costello off guard.
“You think he’s unstable?” Costello asked.
“I absolutely believe he’s unstable,” Gallego replied.
“Like mentally unstable?” Costello pressed.
“I do believe he’s mentally unstable,” Gallego responded. “Who in their right mind would attack a Gold Star family? And not only that, once they’ve actually done that, then turn around and double down, and then accusing a Gold Star mother of not being able to speak because of some weird religious bias that he believes that she had.”
“This is not normal,” he continued. “And for politicians like Paul Ryan, Sen. McCain to basically continue to endorse this person, you’re only encouraging that behavior. Not only that, you’re encouraging other people within society that are supporting Trump to actually support this kind of viewpoint.”
Gallego, who served in Iraq, was one of several military veterans in Congress to send a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), asking him to withdraw his endorsement from Donald Trump.
Gallego told CNN that Trump’s comments about Khizr and Ghazala Khan were “disgusting.”
“For someone to call themselves a national leader but not having the temperament or understanding of what the word sacrifice means to a Gold Star family, and then when pushed against the wall, just turning around and lashing out in a very idiotic and irresponsible manner, really tells me one thing: This person’s not ready to be president,” he said. “And for any politician that considers themselves a sane and responsible politician to still be endorsing someone like Donald Trump, really makes me question whether or not they are truly looking out for the welfare of this country.”
He criticized Ryan, and later Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), for condemning Trump’s comments while still backing Trump’s candidacy.
“Time and time again, Paul Ryan rebukes the things that Donald Trump says without mentioning his name, but yet turns around and continues to support him,” Gallego said. “And how is Donald Trump ever going to learn to constrain himself, to actually comport himself like an actual leader when all these Republican leaders are still giving the backing and encouraging him to continue to run for office?”
Watch a clip from the interview via CNN:
“It’s important to be a leader sometimes and not a politician”- @RepRubenGallego Democrat from Arizona. https://t.co/09aABXXcwi
— Carol Costello (@CarolCNN) August 2, 2016