MIAMI (AP) — A resolution to condemn Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants failed Wednesday night to win approval of the city council in Doral, a city dominated by Hispanic immigrants and home to one of the billionaire businessman's biggest resorts.
In a 3-2 vote, the councilmembers — all of whom are Hispanic — rejected the resolution proposed by city councilwoman and vice mayor Sandra Ruiz, a Mexican immigrant. Those voting against the resolution said they did not condone Trump's comments, but did not want to politicize the council's work.
Earlier this year, Trump was given the keys to the city after leaders praised him for bringing the Miss Universe pageant to Doral and investing in his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort.
Ruiz and others in Doral, where nearly 80 percent of the population of 50,000 people are Hispanic, are upset about Trump's comments from his presidential campaign launch in June, when he portrayed immigrants from Mexico as criminals and rapists.
Following the vote, Ruiz said she was disappointed but not surprised given Trump's large investments in the suburban Miami city.
"Money talks," she said.
"All we wanted was to condemn (Trump's) offensive words," said Ruiz, who had a "cordial conversation" with Trump last week but said he "did not apologize" to her about the remarks.
Trump, who said he earned the key because he created "one of the greatest resorts in the world" in Doral, told The Associated Press that Ruiz is a "third-grade politician who's a total phony who shouldn't be asking me to take a picture with her every time she sees me."
When asked about Trump's characterization of her, Ruiz replied without elaborating, "I learned long ago you do not to get mad, but you get even."
Those who spoke at a public hearing and the several dozen who protested outside council chambers against Trump hailed from different Latin American countries, including Venezuela, Mexico and Cuba.
"Mr. Trump's statements are offensive to all Latinos, but especially to the undocumented community," said Bertha Sanles, who has lived illegally in Miami for 14 years. "Trump is focused on promoting hatred and ignores the positive economic contributions we bring to this country."
Despite his remarks, condemned by nearly all of the major GOP presidential candidates, Trump was atop the average of five recent national polls that determined the lineup for Thursday's Republican presidential debate in Cleveland.
While several recent polls show Trump is hugely unpopular among Hispanic voters, he has not apologized for his comments.
"I will get the Hispanic vote, nobody else will, no other Republican will," Trump said recently on MSNBC. "I will because I will be producing jobs, and nobody else will be able to do that."
Follow Sergio Bustos on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/sbustosap