Trump Courts Hispanic Vote at New Mexico Rally
At a packed-out New Mexico rally Monday, President Trump used his 95-minute speech as an attempt to win over Hispanic voters and turn the typically Democratic state red.
Trump lost New Mexico by eight points in 2016 and with this speech made an effort to appeal directly to Hispanic voters, who make up almost 50% of New Mexico’s population, according to the census. 67% of Hispanics disapprove of Trump, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll last month.
As the Republican party hemorrhages female suburban voters and disapproval ratings mount in states that Trump flipped in 2016 , the Trump campaign is hoping to flip blue states that went with Clinton in 2016, while holding on to key swing states with high Latino populations.
The last time New Mexico voted for a Republican candidate for president was in 2004. Republicans lost in last year’s midterms, leaving the state with an entirely Democratic congressional delegation. But this hasn’t dissuaded the Trump campaign.
“You’re doing better than any state in the United States,” Trump told the crowd in New Mexico. “We’re here because we really think we’re going to turn this state and make it a Republican state.”
With Latinos for Trump signs waving in the background, Trump said that under his presidency, the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans is the lowest it has ever been, and that the median income for Hispanic Americans passed $50,000 for the first time.
“We’re working night and day to deliver a future of limitless opportunity for our nation’s Hispanic-American citizens, including millions and millions of extraordinary Mexican Americans who enrich our society, strengthen our country, serve in our military, and contribute immensely to our shared American family,” said Trump.
He also stated that Hispanic Americans are supporters of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and that Hispanic Americans are among those hardest hit by illegal immigration.
“[Hispanic Americans] don’t want criminals coming from across the border. They don’t want people taking their jobs. They want to have that security,” Trump argued.
Trump later called out CNN commentator Steve Cortes, who was at the rally, before seeming to imply that Hispanics are torn between loyalty to Hispanics and the country.
“He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out, because he looks more like a WASP than I do,” Trump said. “Nobody loves the Hispanics more. Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?”
Cortes shouted an inaudible answer.
“He says the country,” Trump affirmed. “I don’t know, I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you.”
Over the course of his speech, Trump also lambasted The Green New Deal, “far-left radical Democrats” and the “fake media,” while crediting himself in creating six million new jobs, lifting Americans off food stamps and lowering unemployment.
“The Democrats want to annihilate New Mexico’s economy… but the Democrats will never get the chance because New Mexico will never give them the chance,” said Trump. “Under this administration, America is working again, America is winning again, and America is respected again, like it hasn’t been for a long time.”
Trump reiterated his support for a U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, celebrated a nationwide decline in overdose deaths and pointed to New Mexico’s successes in natural gas and oil production.
“For years you watched as your politicians apologized for America. Now you have a president who is standing up for America and we are standing up for New Mexico,” said Trump.
This rally was the kickoff to a three-day West Coast tour. Trump will hold fundraising events in California on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning to Washington.
WHAT THE LEFT IS SAYING: Ben Ray Luján, running for New Mexico’s Democratic Senator: “Tonight Trump said, ‘Who do you love more, the country or the Hispanics?’ I don’t even know where to begin with that question. Hispanics are proud Americans. We are part of this country, just like you @realdonaldtrump. Do better.
Tonight Trump said, “Who do you love more, the country or the Hispanics?"
I don’t even know where to begin with that question. Hispanics are proud Americans. We are part of this country, just like you @realdonaldtrump. Do better.
— Ben Ray Luján (@benraylujan) September 17, 2019
WHAT THE RIGHT IS SAYING: @DanScavino, Trump’s Social Media Director in 2016: “@realDonaldTrump’s #TrumpRally in New Mexico with a packed arena and massive overflow crowd outside. Absolutely incredible! #KAG2020”