Billionaire Republican businessman Ken Langone blasted Donald Trump on Wednesday for calling a Mexican-American judge biased but said he still plans to support the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
"A lot of people said ... give [Trump] time, he'll blow up. Well, if he hasn't blown up, he came as close as he can to blowing up without blowing up," Langone said, adding Trump was "100 percent wrong" to make those "destructive" and "divisive" comments.
"Redemption is for everybody," Langone continued. "[Trump] has got to start, in my opinion, [by saying] 'You know what, I really blew that one.'"
Last week, Trump said U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel's opinion in a case against Trump University was being influenced by the judge's heritage because of the candidate's campaign rhetoric about Mexicans and illegal immigration.
Despite Trump's record of controversial statements throughout the campaign, Langone said: "This one here bothers me more than all the others put together because I can empathize here very easily ... [as] a rough-around-the-edges Italian kid going to Wall Street when it was all whiteshoe 50 years ago."
On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Trump's statements as "textbook" racism, though the Wisconsin Republican and 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate still supports Trump for president.
Bowing to pressure from fellow Republicans, Trump said Tuesday he would no longer talk about Curiel. Trump said his remarks were misconstrued as a broad attack on Mexican-Americans. Stopping short of an apology, Trump released a statement that read in part: "I do not feel that one's heritage makes them incapable of being impartial, but, based on the rulings that I have received in the Trump University civil case, I feel justified in questioning whether I am receiving a fair trial."
Langone — who first supported New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and then Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican race — said he still believes Trump has the best chance to get the nation back on track, calling presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton power-hungry and self-centered.
Reiterating comments he made in May on "Squawk Box," Langone said while he'll vote for Trump, he won't be doing any fundraising for the fellow billionaire businessman.