POLITICS
02/29/2016 08:09 pm ET

After Pulling Event From Trump Resort Over Racist Comments, NASCAR CEO Endorses ...Trump

NASCAR moved an awards ceremony over Trump's comments about Mexicans just six months ago.
Korbin Forrister, a NASCAR truck driver, endorsed Trump on his truck in August. NASCAR's CEO and four other drivers endorsed
Jared C. Tilton via Getty Images
Korbin Forrister, a NASCAR truck driver, endorsed Trump on his truck in August. NASCAR's CEO and four other drivers endorsed Trump on Monday.

In July, NASCAR decided not to return its annual postseason awards banquet to a Donald Trump-owned resort in Miami after the business mogul called Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "criminals" in the speech that launched his presidential campaign.

But Monday night, the stock car racing organization's CEO, Brian France, appeared on stage at a Trump campaign rally in Valdosta, Georgia, to endorse the Republican front-runner. 

Three current NASCAR drivers -- Ryan Newman, David Ragan and Chase Elliott -- and retired driver Bill Elliott joined France in endorsing Trump.

A NASCAR spokesman maintained in July that the organization was not taking a position on Trump's comments, but instead made the decision to move its event based on "what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing." Camping World, the sponsor of NASCAR's truck series, had reportedly urged the organization to relocate the awards banquet.

France made his personal position clear Monday.

"Mr. Trump is changing American politics forever and his leadership and strength are desperately needed," France said in a statement released by the Trump campaign. "He has had an incredible career and achieved tremendous success. This is what we need for our country."

In the summer, Trump slammed NASCAR and ESPN, which also moved events away from Trump resorts after his comments, for their decisions.

But he hailed the endorsements of France and the other drivers on Monday, saying he was "proud to receive the endorsement of such an iconic brand."

Trump has not backed off his racist and xenophobic comments about Mexicans and other groups since an assortment of sports leagues and organizations -- including NASCAR, the PGA Tour, ESPN and NBC -- broke ties with him or moved events last summer. If anything, he's gone even further: In December, he called for banning Muslim immigrants from entering the country.

On Sunday, Trump refused to denounce white supremacist groups and David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who has supported Trump's campaign, during an appearance on CNN, though Trump later said he had spoken out against Duke at an earlier press conference.

Editor's Note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynistbirther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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    Asked which presidential candidate he most wanted to fight, Hogan responded, “I don’t want to be in the ring with any candidates. I want to be Trump’s running mate.” 

    “Did you hear that? Vice President Hogan?” he added. 

    The WWE cut ties with Hogan last July after a video of him using racial slurs surfaced online.
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    Jerry Lamon Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University and the son of late televangelist Jerry Lamon Falwell, endorsed Trump days before the pivotal Iowa caucuses.  

    “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others as Jesus taught in the great commandment,” Falwell said. “He cannot be bought, he's not a puppet on a string like many other candidates ... who have wealthy donors as their puppet masters.” 

    When the presidential hopeful visited Liberty University's campus, Falwell effusively compared Trump to his own father.

    Other evangelical Christians have since voiced their frustration with Falwell's endorsement, citing Trump's alleged sexual affairs and claims of spousal abuse

    John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, told Politico in a statement that Trump was "the most immoral and ungodly man to ever run for President of the United States."
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    Tila Tequila, a reality TV star and flat Earth conspiracy theorist who once claimed to be a "robotoid clone," will be voting for Trump this year.

    In the middle of a transphobic Twitter rant about Caitlyn Jenner, she tweeted, "I only want @realDonaldTrump to win so to smite some of my enemies, kill the politically correct, and basically make America great again!"

    Tequila was recently kicked off "Celebrity Big Brother" for praising Adolf Hitler and posing in Hitler and Nazi-inspired outfits on social media.
  • The self-proclaimed&nbsp;"toughest sheriff in America," Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, has endorsed Trump.&nbsp;
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    “I think [Trump] has really woken America up," Rocker said. "I’m probably as disheartened as everyone else is, as Trump supporters seem to be, with the status quo and the glad-handing politicians and the soundbite politicians always looking for the right comment to make and walking that fine line, trying to make every single faction out there who could be a possible voter, don’t make anybody mad and wear kid gloves.”

    Rocker once told Sports Illustrated that New York City was full of “degenerates,” and said he would rather retire than ride the subway with “some queer with AIDS” and “some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time.”

    He's also sold shirts that read "Speak English" on his website.
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    Former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Trump for president while the two were in Iowa ahead of the caucuses. 

    "The status quo has got to go, otherwise we're just going to get more of the same. And with their failed agenda, it can't be salvaged. It must be savaged. And Donald Trump is the right one to do that," Palin told a crowd of Trump supporters.

    "He builds things, he builds big things. Things that touch the sky. Big infrastructure that puts other people to work. He has spent his life looking up and respecting the hard hats and the steel-toed boots and the work ethic that you all have within you," Palin said. "This self-made success of his, you know that he doesn't get his power, his high, off of opium [OPM] -- other people's money -- like a lot of dopes in Washington do. They're addicted to opium, where they take other people's money and then their high is getting to redistribute it, right?" 

    While commenters panned Palin's endorsement as "word salad," her support means more tea partiers and evangelicals might join her in the Trump camp.
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