Updated 1:15 p.m. ET
Donald Trump’s Twitter account tweeted – and then deleted – a post accusing Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush of only caring about immigration because his wife is from Mexico.
But his campaign now says Trump didn’t personally send the tweet from the account he personally fires off messages from regularly, and that someone else “mistakenly” did.
“Mr. Trump did not write this tweet,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.
The tweet quoted a fan tweet, which said Bush “has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” A cached version can be seen here. Trump is known for his personal attacks on Twitter – who can forget this attack on Cher? – but as a presidential candidate who’s polling ahead of his opponents, he’s now forcing his opponents to engage on the issues he chooses.
Over the last week, a number of Republicans weighed in on Trump’s repeated remarks that Mexican immigrants are criminals and “rapists” – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz “saluted” him while former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was “offended” – but few were as strong-worded as Bush, who slammed Trump, saying he “absolutely” took personal offense to the remarks.
“To make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party,” Bush said. “He’s doing this — he’s not a stupid guy, so I don’t assume he thinks that every Mexican crossing the border is a rapist. He’s doing this to inflame and incite and to draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign.”
A prolific tweeter, Trump routinely slams fellow candidates for not agreeing with him on the platform, but released a full statement responding to Bush’s response.
“Today, Jeb Bush once again proves that he is out of touch with the American people. Just like the simple question asked of Jeb on Iraq, where it took him five days and multiple answers to get it right, he doesn’t understand anything about the border or border security. In fact, Jeb believes illegal immigrants who break our laws when they cross our border come “out of love.”” Trump said in a lengthy response. “As everybody knows, I never said that all Mexicans crossing the border are rapists. Jeb is mischaracterizing my statements only to inflame.”
The tweet was captured by Angelo Carusone, the executive vice president of Media Matters and one-man opposition research team behind “Dump Trump,” who estimated the tweet was up for roughly 24 hours.
“Dump Trump” originally protested Macy’s Trump product line; now that the retailer has ended that partnership, Caruson told msnbc he planned to continue targeting other retailers who market Trump-branded products, PVH, Dorya, and ELK Lighting.
“The goal is to keep exposing Donald Trump’s chicanery and making it clear that Trump’s brand of bigoted bullying is bad for business,” he said in an email.