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George Pataki, Donald Trump Exchange Barbs Over Controversial Comments

Gov. George Pataki is asking Republican candidates to denounce comments Donald Trump made about immigrants. Photo Credit: File Photo
Donald Trump Photo Credit: File Photo

This story has been updated

GARRISON, N.Y. -- Former New York Governor and current Republican presidential candidate George Pataki is calling out Donald Trump.

Pataki, who previously served as mayor of Peekskill and now lives in Garrison, wrote an open letter to his fellow Republican candidates calling on them to denounce Trump's recent controversial comments about Mexican immigrants where he described them as rapists and drug runners.

"This type of divisive rhetoric is just wrong," Pataki said. "It was wrong 100 years ago and it's wrong today.  Yet here we are in 2015 and a leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president is calling Mexicans criminals, rapists and drug dealers.  This is unacceptable."

Trump responded directly to Pataki on Twitter, tweeting to @GovernorPataki and saying "Pataki was a terrible governor, one of the worst - who would've been swamped if he ran again.

"Gov. Pataki couldn't be elected dog catcher if he ran again," Trump tweeted. "So he didn't."

Pataki responded on Twitter, pointing out that Trump has donated $43,500 to his gubernatorial campaigns and in 1999 said Pataki was a terrific governor when he was on Larry King Live.

While Pataki said the U.S. needs to secure the border and stop illegal immigration, the vast majority of Mexicans who come here  to work succeed and live the American dream.

Pataki said his Irish grandmother was called a drunk when she immigrated to America and his Italian grandfather was called a mobster.

"My fellow Republicans like to talk about how we have to appeal to the Latino vote if we are going to win back the White House," Pataki said. "They speak some Spanish, boast about 'telling it like it is' or counsel to not be afraid to lose the primary to win the general – yet so far have been silent when it comes to denouncing these sad and divisive remarks."

Pataki asked his fellow candidates to stand up for the party and for the basic human decency and integrity entitled to every American.

This week, Trump has been dropped by NBC and Macy's for his comments.

For more on NBC's decision to part ways with Trump, click here.

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