Donald Trump May Have Had His 'Oops' Moment Over Mexico

New York (TheStreet) -- Has Donald Trump had his "oops" moment? 

After years of acting the part of the rich, loud-mouth businessman, Trump 's harsh characterization of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans when announcing his candidacy for president could snuff out his fledgling political career even before it gets started.

At least former Texas Governor Rick Perry made it to a GOP presidential debate before he imploded. Perry forgot a key detail of his platform and helplessly muttered the now-famous "Oops." 

Trump's career has mixed together skyscraper developments with casinos -- some bankrupt -- a bevy of platinum blonde women -- some of them related -- and a variety of attempts -- some serious -- to launch a political career.

But his sweeping characterization of Mexican immigrants as little more than drug-runners, thieves and rapists was apparently enough to convince Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC on Monday to end its relationship with the 69-year-old Queens, New York-born real estate developer.

"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," read the e-mailed press release. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."

NBC said it wouldn't air the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, and that Trump wouldn't participate in the networks long-running show The Apprentice. The Miss USA pageant was scheduled to be aired on NBC on July 12. 

A multi-billionaire, Trump angered many across the political spectrum with his comments about immigration and crime during a June 16 speech announcing his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump said before a crowd of supporters. "They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists." 


In response, Spanish-language Univision said it would no longer work on any project with the Trump Organization. 

"At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country," Univision said in its statement.  

The National Hispanic leadership Agenda, along with assorted politicians, then followed-up with a call for NBC to do the same. 

As of June 26, Trump sat in 8th place among likely Republican voters, according to the RealClearPolitics' average of national polls. That puts him ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

If Trump continues to poll in the top 10 of the Republican field, he could be included among those able to participate in the party's televised debates. Trump's presence in the field, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer told Politico, could hurt Republicans in an election year.

"Donald Trump is like watching a roadside accident," Fleischer said. "Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that's entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody."

Of course, celebrities have a way of making comebacks, and Trump's handlers may yet figure out how to use this burst of notoriety to propel his standing in the polls.

Trump, after all, has come back from a messy divorce with the former Ivana Zelnícková, and real estate missteps to establish himself as a successful television personality, one that NBC apparently valued for many years.

"He has some challenges that he's going to have to overcome, that's 100% certain," Erika Kauffman, a partner at 5W Public Relations in New York, said in a phone interview. "But Donald Trump still has legs. He has a machine of people who will attempt to have him redeem himself with the Hispanic democraphic, and put in his time and be genuine. I'm sure he knows that."

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