-- Donald Trump stayed away from his controversial remarks about a federal judge of Mexican heritage today at a Florida rally, but he dug in on his nickname for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, mocking suggestions by some that he should apologize for calling her "Pocahontas."
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee spoke to thousands of supporters in Tampa this morning and jabbed at not only Warren but also prominent Republican Mitt Romney, who recently accused Trump of being racist and misogynistic.
Trump at first appeared to try to show restraint when discussing Warren, who recently endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and who some have speculated could be a potential running mate for Clinton.
"You know when I use a slightly off word, slightly off, when I call this really bad senator," Trump said, referring to Warren. "She's done nothing, she's done nothing. She said she's Native American. And I said Pocahontas, it's Pocahontas. And somebody said to me, one of the media, 'Mr. Trump would you apologize?' I said, yes, I’ll apologize to Pocahontas. I will apologize because Pocahontas is insulted by the statement."
Warren has previously claimed that part of her heritage includes Native American ancestry. Some have criticized Trump for nicknaming her Pocahontas, saying it is offensive.
Trump spent part of this week embroiled in controversy for questioning whether U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is of Mexican heritage, could be impartial in a civil case related to Trump University. Trump has tried to rebut bipartisan criticism of those remarks by saying he is the "least most racist person."
He repeated those comments today in Tampa. He also fought back against Mitt Romney who told CNN in an interview that he feared a Trump presidency could lead to trickle-down racism.
"I watched this poor, sad Mitt Romney this morning," Trump said. "I don't think he knows what misogynist is, he suffers from -- and he’s sitting like a real stiff. Don’t forget this guy let us down, folks, he choked and he let us down. The guy's a stone cold loser. He choked, and when you're a choker, you can never get a choker a second chance, it's too important. A choker is a choker, you see it in sports. You see it in sports, folks. When the guy misses the kick you get rid of him, you get another one in there."
Trump pivoted from his attacks on Warren and Trump and energized his supporters by asking them to help him pick his running mate.
Looking out at the crowd, Trump said, "Everybody wants to know who I’m going to choose for Vice President. Who do you like?”
"I've never done this before, this is fun. This is fun. We have a lot of good people, you'll be happy. You are going to be happy. And we have some unbelievable people for different positions, like homeland security, like attorney general," Trump said of his potential running mate and cabinet.
Trump's comments on people's ethnic backgrounds have left some Republican leadership squirming and worried about their ongoing efforts to unite the Republican party for a general election matchup against Clinton. Trump speculated on the progress of the GOP coming together.
"I mean, I've had more opposition from the Republican Party than I do from the Democrats. It's crazy. With that being said I think it's coming together, I think it's coming together," Trump said.
Trump finishes his week in another battleground state, Pennyslvania. He has a rally scheduled in Pittsburgh this evening.