The head of Hispanic media relations at the Republican National Committee is resigning this month in what appears to be another indication of the lingering discomfort some party officials have about working to elect Donald J. Trump president.
Ruth Guerra, who is of Mexican descent and was in charge of carrying the party’s message to Hispanic voters, is joining the American Action Network, a Republican-aligned “super PAC,” she confirmed in a brief interview on Wednesday.
The American Action Network is expected to spend millions on congressional races, and the new job is in essence a promotion, one co-worker said.
But Ms. Guerra told colleagues this year that she was uncomfortable working for Mr. Trump, according two R.N.C. aides who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the difficulties surrounding the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.Ed O'Keefe reports at The Washington Post:
The RNC announced Wednesday night that Guerra will be replaced by Helen Aguirre Ferre, a GOP operative and former Spanish-language conservative radio talk show host with deep roots in the Miami area. (Her father-in-law is Maurice Ferre, the first Hispanic mayor of Miami.)
Aguirre Ferre is a former aide and close friend of Bush and his family. She prepped the former Florida governor for major speeches and presidential debates and served as his top Spanish-language surrogate. The former host of a radio program for Univision's national network of talk stations, she also was a top Hispanic affairs adviser to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign.
In a statement issued by the RNC, Aguirre Ferre said she's "eager to make the case to the Hispanic community why Republican ideas and values are the way forward for our country after eight years of an Obama agenda which has failed all Americans."
Despite that eagerness, she frequently expressed doubts about Trump in public during appearances on Spanish-language television programs and on Twitter — as recently as last month.
Appearing May 8 on Univision's "Al Punto," a Sunday public affairs program hosted by the network's popular anchor Jorge Ramos, she agreed with other panelists who said that a segment of the Republican Party would not unite around Trump.
"I think you're going to see a segment, Jorge, who won't be able to do it. Because they don't consider Trump to be a real conservative," she said in Spanish.Seema Mehta reports at The Los Angeles Times:
“I am concerned, and I’m saddened, and I’m bewildered,” said Luis Alvarado, a GOP media strategist who, like many other Latino officials in California, said he will not vote for Trump. “We had fought for every inch in changing the minds and hearts of not just fellow Latinos, but also fellow Republicans in understanding how we need to work together. And Trump comes along and everything just gets pushed aside.”
The Republican Party’s problem with Latino voters predate Trump because of the party’s stance on immigration. GOP strategists often say that Latinos may agree with the party on social and economic issues but won’t listen to their pitch if they believe Republicans want to deport their family members.
In California, there are 4.1 million registered Latino voters, with 55% registered as Democrats, 16% Republican and 25% having no party preference.
Trump insists that Latinos “love” him, but polling does not bear that out. A Fox News poll in May found Latino voters favored Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton over Trump 62% to 23%.
Many have had a visceral reaction to Trump's proposals that include deporting 11 million people and building an enormous border wall. Protests greet Trump whenever he holds rallies in California.
When former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra was wrongly listed as a Trump delegate, the Republican received many angry emails and phone calls from his constituents, accusing him of being disloyal to his ethnicity.
“People said, ‘You're betraying your people. What are you thinking?’’’ said Guerra, who is treasurer of the California Republican Party.Javier Panzar reports at The Los Angeles Times:
Democratic operatives are using Trump as a sort of all-purpose boogeyman in a diverse range of down-ticket races all over the state.
Even in districts where there is no meaningful Republican opposition in sight, Democratic campaigns are milking Trump's rhetoric to raise money and bring out voters.
"It is the best political gift a Democrat running in California could get," said political consultant Dave Jacobson of the political firm Shallman Communications.
Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan, running for an open state Senate seat in a safe Democratic district, sent out a mailer in English and Spanish quoting Trump's now infamous comment that Mexico sends "rapists" and drug dealers across the border to the United States.
The mailer screams: "PUT AN END TO DONALD TRUMP'S RACISM AND SEXISM!!! VOTE TUESDAY JUNE 7, 2016 FOR ISAAC GALVAN."