Republican, businessman and technical presidential candidate Donald Trump told reporters following a presidential announcement speech on Tuesday that “Latinos Love” him. In Mexico and across Latin America, actual clowns also run for office as a publicity stunt but they’re open about it. They wear face red noses and large shoes, joke with reporters sometimes wear a funny wig. Like Trump, their main goal is self-promotion, though bringing issues they care about is an added plus. If Trump wore a red nose and oversized shoes (he’s already got the satirical hair), he might get away with some jokes, gaffs, and blatant racism. Yet as a “real” candidate, he’s not likely to recover from this section of his speech, at least not Latinos and certainly not with the Mexican-American community.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. 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. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said at his campaign speech from the Trump Tower in New York City.
Trump implied that the majority of Mexican immigrants are drug-dealers, criminals and rapists. It wasn’t a gaffe, it was a prepared speech. And even if his presidential bid were just a ruse to self-promote, as many have suggested , the racist comments might hurt Trump in the long run. Below, we give a snapshot of the prominent Mexicans and other Latinos that have articulated the blowback against Trump. The comments have not only killed his campaign before it started, but might extend to something he really cares about; his business interests. This week, Trump took reporters on a tour of one of his company’s golf courses, newly reopened in a Washington D.C. suburb.
“He doesn’t have to get on the 747 and spend $25 million dollars traveling to locations where they have to play on golf courses that aren’t nearly as good. And if he wanted to play it, he’s invited,” Trump said of the president. “It is only 25 minutes from the White House, and by helicopter it’s about two minutes, and I have a landing pad right outside, so it’s great.”
Between shameless pitches of his resort, Trump weighed in on presidential issues. The Confederate flag? Move it to a museum, he said. What women should be on the $10 bill? “My mother,” he responded. What about his fallout with Latino voters?
“I do great with Latino voters. I employ so many Latinos,” Trump tol reporters . “I have so many people working for me. I’m a job creator. I create jobs. I’m a master job creator. No politician knows how to create jobs. They’re all talk, they’re no action. They don’t know what they’re doing. […] And you know, the Latinos love Trump and I love them,” he said.
We’re highly skeptical of Trump’s claim. We searched on Twitter. We scoured Facebook. We searched for public statements by Latinos leaders defending his “some, I assume, are good people” comment. Ted Cruz is a possible example (see below). Maybe there’s some silent majority of Latinos who adore Trump that just aren’t talking. Reactions to Trump speech in the media serve as a catalogue of Latinos who deplore Trump, and not just the rank-and-file Latino Democrats. Thanks in part to his comments, Trump has tainted his image in the Latino community far and wide. Here’re a quick roundup of those condemnations.
Trump’s criticism of Mexico was the kind of diplomacy faux pax that articulated the nightmare he would be as a leader of anything important. The reaction from Mexican officials was swift and sure.
“The remarks by Donald Trump seem prejudicial and absurd,” Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Mexico’s interior minister, told reporters following the presidential campaign announcement. “He surely doesn’t know the contributions made by migrants from practically every nation in the world, who have supported the development of the United States.”
The poor diplomacy also threatened Trump’s personal United Nations: the Miss Universe Pageant, which he owns. Lupita Jones, director of Nuestra Belleza (the Mexican equivalent of Miss USA), indicated on Twitter that her organization is considering withdrawing its contestant after Trump’s anti-Mexican remarks.
“Following the first statements made by Donald Trump,” Jones said in a statement, according to Fox Latino, “where he openly showed his enmity with Mexico, as national Director of Nuestra Belleza Mexico I go in direct contact with the director of the organization, Paula Shugart, to know the position of the Mexican representative in the Organization … I will keep in touch with her and in the moment I think I’m putting at risk the integrity and dignity of our representative, I will put in consideration the participation of [Miss Mexico] Wendy [Esparza] in Miss Universe.”
One out of 80 to 100 countries might not seem like much, but a boycott by Mexico could send a shockwave through Miss Universe’s viewership. Television rights for the contest are a main source of revenue, and Donald Trump has recognized the importance of Latino outlets like Telemundo and Univision in carrying the show. Will Latinos boycott the event and, by extension, get Univision to watch the show? A move by Nuestra Belleza Mexico would certainly push the needle in that direction, possibly resulting in a loss of money to Trump’s organization.
Univision anchor and Mexican immigrant Jorge Ramos wrote a scathing review of Trump’s speech, pointing out that 65 percent of U.S. Latinos are of Mexican descent. He also focused on the importance of Mexicans in Trump’s own labor force: Like other hawkers of luxury goods and services, Trump relies on cheap, dependable employees, including Mexicans.
“I have visited Trump’s National Doral Miami Hotel and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York in recent months. Many of the wonderful workers who took care of me at these establishments were, indeed, from Mexico. So why does Trump speak so hatefully about them?”
“Trump thought that he’d gain some political points with his prejudiced statements, but he was wrong. He has lost the Latino vote and, hence, the White House. Mr. Trump: You’re fired,” he concluded .
National Council Of La Raza (NCLR)
“This is a man who has a pathological need for attention,” Lisa Navarrette told the Guardian . “I look at him as a two-year-old who will say a naughty word to get their parents’ attention. That’s what he’s doing.”
“Part of the reason why Latinos are so alienated from the Republican party these days is there’s a sense that there are people who actually believe [what Trump said],” she said.
“I’m hoping that the saner, more rational people in the Republican party can put a stop to this kind of thing, and say: ‘No, we’re going to be constructive, we’re not going to needlessly and consciously alienate the fastest-growing group of voters in this country.”
Many Republican congressman and senators welcomed Trump’s entrance into the race. Lower-ranking legislators called him “fun to watch” or said that he’d “raise important issues.” Few believe he could secure the nomination, and none have said so publicly, but in a field of more than a dozen major candidates, he’s on track to make the top 10 and earn a place in the Republican primary debates. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-South Carolina) told The Hill that he has a “very difficult time taking [Trump] seriously.”
“If he is going to have the impact of kicking a serious candidate off the dais for the first debate, I hope he takes it just as seriously as the person he kicks off,” Mulvaney said.
Most prominent Republicans have ignored Trump or offered a “no comment” to his speech. None have condemned him, as USA Today Paul Reyes and others have already pointed out. Some have gone out of their way to welcome him to the race.
Ted Cruz, whose father is a Cuban immigrant, seems to like Trump.
Hungry for satire? Here’s the official Democratic National Committee’s “welcome message” for Trump’s campaign. Because if anyone is truly going to benefit from Trump’s run, it’s Democrats.
“Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days,” the DNC said in a statement. “He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward to hearing more about his ideas for the nation.”