House Speaker Paul Ryan is the latest Republican and Trump supporter to disavow Donald Trump’s attacks on federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel because of his Mexican heritage.
“Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” Ryan said at an event in Washington, D.C. where he had hoped to talk about his agenda, specifically his plan to combat poverty. Instead the news conference was overshadowed by Trump’s controversial remarks.
“I disavow those comments,” Ryan said, adding that Trump’s latest storm “undercuts” Ryan’s efforts to focus on his policy agenda.
The party has slowly gotten in line behind their party standard bearer, but Trump’s repeated controversial comments are making Republicans uneasy.
Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued his criticism of Trump Tuesday afternoon, telling reporters that he worries about the impact of the Republican Party’s relationship with Hispanics.
“My advice to our nominee is start talking to the ideas that the American people care about and start doing it now,” McConnell said.
He added: “Stop attacking … various minority groups … and get on message.”
McConnell has endorsed Trump and Ryan did so just last Thursday, but Ryan acknowledged that Trump is far from the perfect candidate, and added the caveat that he would speak up if Trump says something he doesn’t agree with.
It didn’t take long for Ryan to speak out against Trump.
Ryan added: “It’s absolutely unacceptable.”
Most recently, Trump has said Curiel won’t give him a fair hearing in the case against Trump University because he is “Mexican” and a “hater” of Trump because the candidate says he’s going to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Curiel’s parents are immigrants from Mexico but he was born in Indiana.
One Republican who has been open about his opposition to Trump, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, emphatically criticized Trump.
“It’s pretty clear to me that he’s playing the race card,” Graham told NBC News, adding that Trump is trying to ruin Curiel’s life.
Former presidential rivals who have said they would back Trump also denounced his remarks.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said it was “inappropriate” to attack a judge’s race or ethnicity, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said his remarks are “offensive” and “wrong” and that Trump should “stop saying it.”
Outspoken Trump supporter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, called Trump’s remarks “inexcusable.”
Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, a Trump supporter, also denounced Trump’s comments about Curiel.
“I mean, to say that somebody because of their background or their ethnicity has – doesn’t have the ability to carry something out is wrong. That’s not where we are in our country,” Corker said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Tuesday.
Ryan did add, however, that Trump’s latest comments aren’t enough for him to stop supporting the candidate.
While Graham told NBC News that he plans to write in a candidate other than Trump or Clinton, no Trump endorser, however, has been willing to rescind his or her support. Ryan added to his condemnation that Trump is better than presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Do I believe that Hillary Clinton is gonna be the answer to solving these problems? I do not. I believe that we have more common ground on the policy issue of the day and we have more likelihood of getting our policies enacted with him then we do with her,” Ryan said.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an early supporter of Trump, stood by him.
“People are always gonna express their opinions. Those are Donald’s opinions and he has the right to express them. The same way anybody else has a right to express any of their views regarding how they’re treated in the civil or criminal courts in this country,” Christie said.
This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.