New Mexico's Governor Fires Back at Trump, Won't Be 'Bullied' Into Endorsement

"Gov. Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her."

ByABC News
May 25, 2016, 3:45 PM

— -- After Donald Trump slammed New Mexico's Republican Gov. Susana Martinez during a raucous rally in Albuquerque Tuesday night, her office is firing back.

“Gov. Martinez doesn’t care about what Donald Trump says about her. She cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans,” Martinez’s press secretary, Mike Lonergan, told ABC News in a statement. “She’s disappointed that she didn’t hear anything about that last night.”

Trump went after Martinez’s record during his New Mexico rally, quipping in jest that “maybe” he should run for governor of the state and “get this place going.”

“You’ve got to get your governor to do a better job. She’s not doing her job,” he said. He went on to say, “Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico. If I was governor, that wouldn’t be happening.”

Martinez, who is considered a rising star in the GOP, is the United States’ first female Hispanic governor and serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. She has so far declined to endorse to Trump for president, and her office made clear that his attacks aren’t going to bring about such an endorsement.

“The governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans,” Lonergan said.

In his attacks on Martinez’s record, Trump said, “The number of people on food stamps in New Mexico has tripled” since 2000. But as her office points out, she wasn't elected until 2010.

“Apparently, Donald Trump doesn’t realize Gov. Martinez wasn’t elected in 2000, that she has fought for welfare reform and has strongly opposed the president’s Syrian refugee plan. But the potshots weren’t about policy. They were about politics,” Lonergan said.

The Republican Governors Association also came to the defense of its chairwoman, praising her contributions as governor in a statement to ABC News.

“From reducing New Mexico’s tax burden with sweeping tax reform, successfully suing the EPA for federal overreach and making New Mexico the leader in jobs for export growth, Gov. Susana Martinez has effectively instituted conservative reforms in a blue state won twice by President Obama while winning re-election by the largest margin for a Republican in state history,” RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said. “Gov. Martinez also has a long, dedicated record of helping elect conservative governors across the country, which has helped RGA grow to 31 Republican governors. As RGA chair this year, Gov. Martinez is leading the charge in several key states that are in dire need of real leadership like she has provided in New Mexico.”

ABC News’ Meredith McGraw contributed to this report.