Washington Times: Business Chief Criticizes Anti-Immigration Rhetoric from Trump, GOP Candidates

Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 3:30pm

By Dave Boyer

The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce blasted presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call to build a wall along the border with Mexico Thursday, saying it is “morally wrong and politically stupid.”

Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue didn’t mention Mr. Trump by name, but criticized “very loud voices” in the GOP “who talk about walling off America from talent and trade and who are attacking whole groups of people based not on their conduct but on their ethnicity or religion.”

“This is morally wrong and politically stupid,” Mr. Donohue said in his annual address on the state of American business.

The chamber has been pushing, unsuccessfully, for Congress to approve comprehensive immigration reform backed by President Obama.

Mr. Donohue said the presidential race is “the most surprising and perplexing presidential campaign in modern history, and I would say, in both parties.”

On the Democratic side, he said, “we have candidates promising to double down on the current administration’s policies — more spending, more entitlements, more taxing, and more regulating.”

“I guess they figure that if something isn’t working, just do more of it. Does that make any sense?” he asked.

The head of the business community’s lobbying group said the Obama administration is crushing businesses with ever-increasing regulation.

“The current administration is on a regulatory tear — and this will continue until the day the moving van backs up to the door of the White House next January,” he said. “It has unleashed a runaway EPA that is stretching the law — and in some cases breaking it — in order to assume control over local economic development across America.”

The economic outlook for 2016 is uncertain, Mr. Donohue said, with the U.S. “stuck in the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression.”