WASHINGTON— The co-author of a 1987 book that cast Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a savvy businessman once again criticized Trump’s egotistical approach to politics Tuesday, joining with civil rights leaders to blast Trump for derogatory remarks about minority groups.
“Our hope for the future rests in our capacity to move from the perspective of ‘me,’ which Donald Trump so embodies, to one of ‘we,’” Tony Schwartz said at a National Press Club news conference Tuesday.
Alongside several civil rights leaders, Schwartz continued his severe critique of Trump, which he began in June after breaking his silence on the time he spent with the candidate in order to write “The Art of the Deal.”
Schwartz called for Americans to show “mutual understanding, care and respect” for one another to help heal the wounds caused by Trump’s remarks and policy statements.
Leaders from the African American, immigrant, Latino and Muslim communities, all of whom have publicly condemned Trump, joined Schwartz to emphasize that young people and communities of color have been hurt by Trump’s comments on topics such as immigration and stop-and-frisk.
“This is our home and we’re here to stay,” said Cristina Jimenez, co-founder and director of United We Dream Action, an immigrant youth-led organization. “We’re here to stay, we’re here to organize, we’re here to fight back, we’re here to defeat Donald Trump.”
In December 2015, Trump’s campaign said in a statement that the candidate was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Since then, he has emphasized that his ban on Muslims would be “temporary,” talked about registering Muslims in a national database and renewed his call for surveilling mosques.
Trump has also alienated many voters because his immigration policy is centered on building an “impenetrable and beautiful” wall between Mexico and the U.S. to keep out undocumented Mexican immigrants.
“They’re bringing drugs,” Trump said when he announced his candidacy for president in June 2015. “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
The Trump campaign could not be reached for comment.
Schwartz said Tuesday he gave $55,000 of his book royalties to the National Immigration Law Center. He added in an interview after the news conference, that he did so on behalf of minority groups and their efforts to get out the vote.
In a July New Yorker article, Schwartz said he regretted writing “the Art of the Deal” and claimed that he did not include unflattering details to perpetuate the idea that Trump couldn’t fail in his deal-making.
“I put lipstick on a pig,” Schwartz said in the article. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.”
Schwartz has questioned Trump’s ability to run the country. He has also accused the candidate of being driven by a need for public attention, of having a propensity to lie and of being “a man without conscience.”
After learning of Schwartz’s remarks for the July profile, Trump told The New Yorker that Schwartz probably just wanted publicity.