Search This Blog

Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Endangered Hombres

When Donald Trump uttered the words “bad hombres” during the final presidential debate last night, I shuddered.
Not just because he mispronounced it as “bad hambres” (or “bad hungers”) but because he dared to use my native language and the language of Latinos’ ancestors to demean undocumented immigrants.
At Politico, Rachael Bade reports that Trump is hurting House Republicans in districts with many Latino voters.
“We know that Donald Trump and Will Hurd [R-TX] do not stand with our community: Trump wants to deport 11 million immigrants, and Hurd voted to throw DREAMers out of the country,” a Spanish-speaking narrator says in a new ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hispanics comprise more than 70 percent of Hurd’s district, and Democrats are capitalizing on palpable fears of Trump: “Now more than ever, we have to make use of the power of our vote to stand up to Trump and Hurd.”

Attacks like these are forcing Republicans representing Latino-heavy districts to work overtime to show their constituents they’re nothing like the man leading their ticket. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, where just less than half the population is Latino, Rep. Jeff Denham speaks Spanish on the trail, and is often joined by his wife, who is of Mexican-Puerto Rican descent. Denham touts the Amigo of the Year award he received from a Hispanic organization and reminds voters that he was one of the few House Republicans to support the Senate’s landmark bipartisan immigration reform package (“which was controversial at the time,” he adds for good measure).
[Carlos] Curbelo is doing something similar: He frequently reminds voters and reporters that he's opposed Trump from Day One and tries to turn the conversation back to his legislative record. In English and Spanish, the Republican pitches himself as an independent thinker who can work with both parties but stand up to them as well.