Reality TV star Donald Trump has done his business empire no favors by accusing Mexican immigrants of being rapists and drug dealers.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best; they're not sending you," the 2016 Republican presidential candidate said during his June campaign launch. "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. And some, I assume, are good people."
Those remarks led celebrities and politicians to condemn the real estate mogul. A number of prominent businesses, including NBCUniversal, Univision, Macy's and NASCAR, have also cut ties with the newly announced candidate over his immigration remarks.
But not all of the reactions have been negative. In fact, a number of pundits and politicians have responded to the controversy by applauding Trump for bringing attention to the issue of illegal immigration, however sloppy and hamfisted it may have been.
Here are six notable people in politics and media who have bucked the national "Dump Trump" trend by offering him kudos:
6) The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol
Kristol made it clear this week that he's not a fan of Trump. However, he believes the 2016 Republican candidates can benefit and learn from the infamously pompous real estate mogul.
"I am not pro-Trump. I'm slightly anti-anti-Trump because I'm so sick of all the establishment types being so earnest in disdaining him," Kristol said Wednesday on CNN.
"And this serves the Republican Party right. They've set up this debate, 10 people, excluding the so-called minor candidates, some of whom are very impressive and not-so-minor candidates like [former HP CEO] Carly Fiorina and [former Texas Gov. Rick Perry] and others who might get excluded. They set this up, they tried to control everything. They set up a situation where, who's going to dominate that debate? I suspect Donald Trump," he added.
Kristol is referring to an upcoming Fox News GOP primary debate where only 10 declared candidates are allowed on stage, and participation will be based entirely on polling numbers.
"I sort of think it serves the [other GOP candidates] right, and it puts more pressure on Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, people I like and respect, to have something to say," Kristol said of Trump. "So if they get up there and are platitudinous politicians, they are going to look pale compared to Donald Trump."
5) National Review's Rich Lowry
Like Kristol, Lowry does not appear to be a fan of Trump.
However, when it comes to Trump's Mexico comments, "there was a kernel in them that hit on an important truth that typical politicians either don't know or simply fear to speak," Lowry wrote in an op-ed titled "Sorry, Donald Trump Has a Point."
Referring to Trump's claim that Mexico is not sending its best people, the National Review editor wrote, "This is obviously correct."
"We aren't raiding the top 1 percent of Mexicans and importing them to this country. Instead, we are getting representative Mexicans, who — through no fault of their own, of course — come from a poorly educated country at a time when education is essential to success in an advanced economy," he wrote.
One of the many problems with Trump's delivery, Lowry added, is that he made it sound as if Mexico is shipping morally defective persons to the United States. That's neither an accurate claim, nor does it capture the real problem, he wrote.
"For all its crassness, Trump's rant on immigration is closer to reality than the gauzy clichés of the immigration romantics unwilling to acknowledge that there might be an issue welcoming large numbers of high school dropouts into a 21st-century economy," Lowry said.
"If we don't want to add to the ranks of the poor, the uninsured and the welfare dependent, we should have fewer low-skilled immigrants — assuming saying that is not yet officially considered a hate crime. The point surely could be made much more deftly by anyone not named Donald J. Trump. In the meantime, he fills the vacuum, and enjoys the whirlwind," he added.
4) 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson declined in a recent interview to condemn Trump's remarks, and instead warned against "politically correct" culture.
"It's the P.C. police out in force," the 2016 Republican presidential candidate said Monday in an interview with the Daily Caller. "They want to make very clear that this is a topic you're not supposed to bring up."
Americans need to stop worrying about the words Trump used, and focus on the bigger picture of illegal immigration, Carson said.
"What we really need to be talking about is how do we take care of our illegal immigration problem," he said. "I've talked about that extensively. And the key thing is we have to secure all our borders — north, south, east and west."
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, appears to have no problem with Trump's remarks.
"I would say to Donald Trump, I appreciate the scrappiness of him," King said when asked during a CNN interview last week to respond to the Mexico comments. "When he's attacked by other people, he counterattacks and plunges forward and he delivers more facts to support the statement that he's made."
Sometimes, King added, it's better to say things "real plain," rather than mincing words.
King is no stranger to controversy over immigration, and got in trouble for several months for saying illegal immigrants are entering the country with "calves the size of cantaloupes" because of the illegal drugs they're hauling over the border.
The conservative talk radio host appears to be quite pleased with Trump's entry into the 2016 race, and has on multiple occasions praised the reality TV star for standing up to the forces of politically correct culture.
"I don't care what you think of Trump, but Trump is not backing down," Limbaugh said in early July. "That's the way it's done! I don't care what people think about it, this kowtowing to political correctness."
Later, on July 8, Limbaugh marveled at Trump for supposedly focusing media's attention on illegal immigration and so-called "sanctuary cities."
"Look at what Donald Trump has done. Donald Trump has single-handedly changed the debate in terms of electoral politics now," he said. "There is a bunch of us who have been saying similar things, doing similar things. But none of us is running for president and none of us has been covered by the media day in/day out with every syllable that we utter."
"Donald Trump has changed the entire debate on immigration, and he is not the story today. The story today is sanctuary cities," he added.
Nearly all of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates have come out strong against Trump, condemning him vigorously for his Mexico remarks.
But not Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has since done just the opposite.
"I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration," Cruz said on NBC News' "Meet the Press." He said it "seems the favorite sport of the Washington media is to encourage some Republicans to attack other Republicans."
"I'm not interested in Republican on Republican violence," he said, explaining that Trump merely has a "bold," "brash" and "colorful" way of speaking.
Separately, on "Fox and Friends," Cruz said in reference to the Mexico remarks, "When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. I think he's terrific."