New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez speaks at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. While some thought she could be a potential 2016 running mate, the presumptive GOP nominee, Donald Trump critcized Martinez for the state's economic problems. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
ALBUQUERQUE, May 25 (UPI) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump criticized a fellow Republican, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who he said has failed to fix her state's economic problems and is "not doing the job."
The attack, on a rising star in the GOP and a rare female Hispanic in U.S. politics who has ascended to statewide office, was met with a terse rebuke from Martinez's spokesman.
Trump made the remarks at a rally in Albuquerque, N.M., on Tuesday.
"It's your governor's fault," Trump told thousands of booing supporters. "We have to get your governor and get going. She's got to do a better job, OK? Your governor has got to do a better job."
The New York Times reports Martinez, who is chair of the Republican Governors Association and was once thought to be on any hypothetical nominee's vice presidential short list, has been critical of Trump in private and pointedly refused to be seen with him during his campaign swing through her state.
Martinez told reporters she was "really busy" and unable to campaign with the party's presumed general election standard-bearer.
Trump did not appear with any elected officials at his rally Tuesday.
With Martinez on the outs, Trump attacked her several times in his speech, laying blame for New Mexico's unemployment rate and the increase in the number of residents on food stamps.
Trump also accused Martinez of allowing "large numbers" of Syrian refugees to be settled in New Mexico, though Martinez was one of a number of governors who spoke out against President Barack Obama's plan to allow some Syrian refugees to relocate to the United States.
"Apparently, Donald Trump doesn't realize Governor Martinez wasn't elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform, and has strongly opposed the president's Syrian refugee plan," Mike Lonergan, Martinez's press secretary, said in a statement. "But the pot shots weren't about policy, they were about politics. And the governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans. Governor Martinez doesn't care about what Donald Trump says about her -- she cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She's disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night."
The flap comes at a difficult time for both Trump and the GOP establishment, as the two sides struggle to unite headed into the general election.
It also comes as Trump tries to make inroads with Latinos, something he has promised he will be able to do.
Martinez is not the only GOP governor to feel Trump's wrath. Trump has been openly critical of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an early rival of Trump's for the nomination who faced scathing criticism even after dropping out of the race.