Last week, the National Council of La Raza held their annual conference. Given the importance of the Hispanic electorate to national politics and critical swing states, you’d expect both parties to send their top candidates to court voters and activists.
And you’d be wrong! Every single GOP candidate for president skipped the largest national Hispanic gathering held before their primary.
Donald Trump skipped it. He was too busy insulting Mexican immigrants and planning an appearance with Sheriff Joe Arpaio to bother attending.
Ted Cruz skipped it. The son of immigrants is arguably the most anti-immigrant of the bunch.
Jeb Bush skipped it. He’s probably petrified that the GOP primary voters find out he’s not a hard-line xenophobe on immigration.
Rick Perry skipped it. Perhaps he was too busy rattling sabres at the border to bother shoring up any of the support he has received from Hispanic voters in the past.
All the rest of them — Rubio, Jindal, Christie, Carson, Kasich, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Pataki, Paul, Santorum, Walker, and 8 other white guys whose names you can’t remember — skipped it too.
Failing to show up and pay respect to Hispanic voters suggests that Republicans aren’t serious about their path to victory. The growth of Hispanic voters in key swing states makes the path to the White House exceedingly difficult for the GOP, as this analysis makes clear. Instead of wooing voters, Republicans are trying to impede minority turnout with discriminatory voter ID laws.
Of course, the Republican candidates — and The Donald in particular — were figuratively in the room as Democratic candidates and leaders took many a swing at Trump, currently leading in national GOP primary polls.
Trump is riding an ignorant and vitriolic rhetoric on immigration into the national spotlight. His profoundly racist fear-mongering is an insult not merely to Mexican immigrants but to all immigrants and descendants of immigrants — in other words, the vast majority of people in this country.
And after calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, he’s now leading in the Republican primary polls.
Democrats at NCLR — Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders attended, as did HUD Secretary Julian Castro — were quick to remind the audience of Trump’s comments and paint them as representative of the GOP as a whole.
NBC News, part of a larger media entity that cut ties with Trump, reported on the event:
“I have just one word for Mr. Trump — Basta! Enough!” Clinton said to cheers.
“And to all the other Republicans running for president, why did it take weeks for most of you to speak out?” she said. “The sad truth is even if some of the other candidates now condemn those words if you look at many of their policies, it’s hard to tell the difference.”
TL,DR: our country’s largest Hispanic organization held a national meeting and none of the Republicans showed their faces. Not a single one.
“Gringos y otros pendejos,” indeed.