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Donald Trump Tells Christian Leaders He Is ‘Concerned’ About Christians’ Rights in America

Donald Trump secretly met last week with Sid Roth, Rick Joyner and other apostolic and evangelical church leaders. Mario Bramnick, senior pastor of New Wine Ministries Church in Cooper City, Florida, told Charisma about his private conversation with Trump—and what it reveals about the Republican frontrunner’s true stances.

Bramnick attended the Trump Tower meeting as a representative for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). NHCLC, the largest Hispanic Christian evangelical organization in America, is led by popular pastor Samuel Rodriguez Jr. Bramnick was joined in the meeting by Roth, Joyner, Frank Amedia, Alex Nuñez and Darrell Scott.

Though Trump has reportedly not changed his mind regarding immigration, Bramnick said Trump showed greater understanding for the plight of Latinos than he had in the past.

“I personally felt that I saw a different side of him from some of what has come forth in his statements previously,” Bramnick said. “He seemed to understand the plight of the undocumented, the plight of the Latino here in America, and really showed a willingness to wanting to work with our community.”

Rodriguez has been openly critical of Trump in past months, but this meeting suggests the two men may be able to find common ground. Bramnick said NHCLC and Trump actually agreed on many immigration-related issues: the importance of strong border security, comprehensive immigration reform and deportation for illegal immigrants with criminal records.

As president of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, Bramnick was also encouraged by Trump’s addition of a pro-Israel advisor, Jason Greenblatt, to his campaign. Trump also reportedly demonstrated genuine concern for the state of religious liberty.

“He told us in the meeting that he’s very, very concerned that Christians are losing their rights in America, that we no longer can even speak or express what we believe,” Bramnick said. “And he did say that if he becomes president, he’s going to change things to make sure that we as Christians have our religious liberties restored. He said he’s concerned about Christians, he’s concerned about Jews, and he wants to help.”

Yet Bramnick said he was not endorsing any candidate at this time. Instead, he exhorted evangelicals to be prayerful and seek God’s wisdom during this election cycle.

Bramnick said, “In our decision-making process—especially at such a critical crossroad in America—we need to see which candidate is most pro-life? Which candidate is most pro-religious freedom? And which candidate is most pro-marriage? And which candidate is most concerned about the immigrant and the stranger? We are in such a critical time. I don’t think not voting is an option. We’ve got to be sober-minded. We can’t be one issue-oriented.

“We need to cry out for our nation. We know the answer isn’t coming from the Republican party or the Democratic party, but coming from the Lord. We all have expectations of great revival or great third awakening, but we’re in very difficult times. We’ve been called to be light, we’ve been called to be salt, and we are the ones by the spirit first—not by power, not by might, but by God’s spirit—to cry out to God, to decree and declare, to bring our nation back to its original godly values.”

Original article can be read here: http://www.charismanews.com/politics/issues/57336-donald-trump-tells-christian-leaders-he-is-concerned-about-christians-rights-in-america

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Hispanic Support Eludes Donald Trump

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Donald Trump’s criticism of the nation’s first Latina governor threatens to further damage his image in the Hispanic community as he turns toward a general election where those voters will be pivotal.

At a rally in Albuquerque on Tuesday night, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee pointed to a rise in food stamp recipients under New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who heads the Republican Governors Association. “She’s gotta do a better job,” he said.

On Wednesday in Southern California, Mr. Trump invoked the name of a San Francisco woman killed last year by an illegal immigrant. “Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!’’ the crowd chanted.

Mr. Trump’s appearances in two of the three states with the largest Hispanic electorates follow a few initial overtures to Hispanic voters in recent weeks that have drawn mixed results. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates a record 27.3 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2016 and would make up about 12% of the electorate, up from 10% in 2012.

Mr. Trump’s campaign didn’t respond to questions about whether he planned to hire campaign staffers focused on Hispanic outreach to improve his large deficit with that group in polls.
“I’ve never liked the pandering game, but I’ve never seen someone do it so antagonistically,” said Republican state Rep. Rod Montoya of Farmington, who plans to vote in New Mexico’s June 7 primary for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz even though he has dropped out of the race. Mr. Trump, he added, “is not helping his cause.”

At both rallies this week, Mr. Trump said his appeal is growing as Hispanic voters learn about plans to create jobs and prosperity. “We’re going to win with Hispanics,” Mr. Trump told the ethnically diverse crowd of thousands at the Albuquerque Convention Center. “They don’t want their homes taken away and they don’t want their jobs taken away.”

But some Hispanic leaders say Mr. Trump first must apologize for branding Mexican immigrants as criminals in his campaign announcement and making other inflammatory remarks before they would be open to hearing his campaign agenda.
Mrs. Martinez didn’t attend the rally. Her spokesman, Mike Lonergan, said Wednesday “the governor will not be bullied” into backing him. The governor “cares about what [Mr. Trump] says he will do to help New Mexicans. She’s disappointed that she didn’t hear anything about that last night,” he said in a statement.

On the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo earlier this month, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter a picture of him eating a taco bowl and wrote, “I love Hispanics.” This past weekend, he sent a video to a gathering of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in which he said, “National…Hispanic…Christian…. three great words!”

These gestures “did not help, whatsoever,” said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the nation’s largest Hispanic Christian group, which is nonpartisan. “If Donald Trump wants to redeem himself with Hispanic voters, he has to engage in a mea culpa for the demagoguery and hyperbole.”

Darrell Scott, a Cleveland pastor serving as chief executive officer of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, a multiethnic and multiracial group, defended Mr. Trump’s unscripted approach in the video. “He’s not pandering. It’s genuine,” he said. “He is authentic, and that’s what resonates with the American people.’’

Mr. Trump has flagged illegal immigration as a pressing problem and said he would deport millions of undocumented workers and force Mexico to pay for a wall along the border.

“He’s not anti-immigrant. He’s anti-illegal immigrant,” said Dahlys Hamilton, who started an Atlanta-based group called Hispanic Patriots for Trump. “People don’t know that because they are too busy spinning rhetoric that he’s a racist.”

She also belongs to the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, which is organizing gatherings for the presumptive GOP nominee. The group doesn’t include any of the major Hispanic surrogates for Republican nominees Mitt Romney and John McCain or former President George W. Bush.
“ Hillary Clinton is a seasoned politician, and it will probably be a good idea for Trump to look to who would be respected in the Hispanic community to lean on,” said Debe Campos-Fleenor, a Mexican-American insurance agent in Tucson, Ariz., who belongs to the pro-Trump coalition.

Mrs. Clinton has about a half dozen staff members devoted to Hispanic outreach and media and is backed by a grass-roots group called Latinos for Hillary that launched in October. She also has a team of high-profile Hispanic surrogates, including members of Congress and cabinet secretaries, who are regularly booked on Spanish-language media.

Mrs. Clinton’s efforts to make inroads with Hispanic voters began months ago. She has stumped on behalf of President Barack Obama’s executive orders protecting some illegal immigrants from deportation. The campaign has organized “Latina-to-Latina” phone banks, “Mujeres in Politics” meetings for women, Hispanic debate watch parties and other events in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Florida.

State Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, who represents a district south of Albuquerque, said he would support Mr. Trump “because I’m a Republican and I am going to support the nominee.” He added that he agrees with Mr. Trump’s emphasis on national security.

“I have Hispanic constituents who are solid Donald Trump supporters, and I have those who are telling me they could never support him,” he added. “I’ve also had people tell me not to endorse Trump because I will lose support for my own campaign.”

So far, Hispanic voters have a very negative view of Mr. Trump, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey conducted this month shows. Some 68% would back Mrs. Clinton and 20% would back Mr. Trump if the two faced off in the general election, the survey found. Mrs. Clinton’s 48-point advantage among Hispanics is far larger than her 3-point lead among voters overall in the survey.

The share of Hispanic voters who see Mr. Trump in a negative light outweighs those with a positive view by 52 percentage points, the poll found. At this point in 2012, Hispanic views of GOP nominee Mitt Romney were more negative than positive by 9 points.

At the same time, Mrs. Clinton is also viewed less favorably by Hispanic voters than was her party’s last nominee. The share of Hispanic voters who see her in a positive light is 7 points higher than the share with a negative view. By contrast, Mr. Obama was 35 points more positive than negative among Hispanic voters at this point in 2012.

The dueling videos recently sent by Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference reflect the tenor and breadth of their overall Hispanic outreach: his approach appears unorganized while hers resembles a professional marketing campaign.

In his video, Mr. Trump is sitting on his plane and reads the name of the organization off a sheet of paper. “It’s not going to be easy but I’m going to win and we’re going to take care of everybody,” says Mr. Trump, who promises to reduce unemployment and crime and improve urban schools and border security.

Mrs. Clinton, by contrast, rattles off the name of the group, the title of its annual gathering and its leadership. She quotes from Scripture.

She also takes on Mr. Trump without directly mentioning his name.

“You know we’re hearing some divisive and dangerous rhetoric in this election,” she says. “We have a candidate who wants to tear families apart and forcibly deport 11 million undocumented immigrants.”

Original article can be read here: http://www.wsj.com/articles/hispanic-support-eludes-donald-trump-1464215073

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Trump, Clinton urged to heed ‘la familia’

The leader of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference implies that the votes of millions of born-again Hispanics in America are up for grabs in the coming presidential election.

Hispanic evangelicals met in Anaheim, California, last weekend for what was tabbed as “Latin Leaders Fest.” The two-day event featured speakers such as evangelist Luis Palau and Pastor Alberto Delgado, and the husband-and-wife worship team Nic Gonzales and Jaci Velasquez.

During the gathering, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made video pitches to the Latin Leaders Fest. Not surprisingly, both presidential candidates addressed immigration:

Clinton: “In this campaign I’ve met families across our country who live in fear of being torn apart by a broken immigration system.”

Trump: “We’re going to strengthen our borders. People are going to come into our country, but they’re going to come in through a process. They’ll come in legally, but we’re going to stop the drugs.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which organized the event. He says the two candidates were courting the 16 to 20 million Hispanic Christian voters. But, according to Rodriguez, they don’t vote the way people have been told.

“Hispanic evangelicals are actually more pro-life and have a stronger pro-life ethos than our Anglo and African-American brothers and sisters,” he tells OneNewsNow. “[We are] very strong pro-religious liberty. [We have] very strong family ethos, very strong – la familia, that’s where it emerges from.”
And while the evangelical message really resonates, he says “we also have a commitment to justice and education equality. The community emerges as the quintessential independent voting constituency.”

When it comes to immigration, Rodriguez says they want secure borders and a stop to illegal immigration – but they don’t want their homes torn apart by deportations.

All that made for nervous moments as Rodriguez presented the candidates’ pitches. Would the conference boo the candidates? “At the end of both videos, my wonderful chief operating officer, Gus Reyes, stood up and said, ‘Well, I believe it’s time to pray’ – and everyone chuckled,” he shares.

And praying about the election is good advice for everyone, Rodriguez adds.

Original article can be read here: http://www.onenewsnow.com/politics-govt/2016/05/25/trump-clinton-urged-to-heed-la-familia

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The GOP Spent Years Building A Latino Outreach Project—Is Trump About To Destroy It?

The Republican Party has dozens of staffers in key states around the country dedicated to reaching Latino voters, but a “Vote Trump” or even “Don’t Vote Clinton” message may not be enough to stem historic opposition to him.

The Republican National Committee was flying high in early 2015.

Amid a Republican wave, two candidates had done something that operatives believed was critical for the future: Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado and Gov. Rick Scott in Florida won significant victories in states with sizable Hispanic populations. It wasn’t a general election year, but they’d put real effort into courting Latinos — Scott held regular breakfasts with Hispanic pastors, Gardner went to Fiestas Patrias, where 92,000 people descended to celebrate Mexican independence.

It was exactly the kind of voter-focused campaigning that Republicans hoped to continue in 2016. RNC operatives were busy putting together ambitious plans for staff, infrastructure, and data all with Latinos in mind. The RNC already had 40 staffers working on the project. Operatives said they would expand to 80 people in 10 key states. And they were already working on targeted data projects, like surveying Miami residents about Uber on iPads at a Hispanic business expo to get their contact information.

They trumpeted the midterm victories and a new, steady commitment to reaching Hispanics last spring. The RNC was building a true program for the next presidential candidate to appeal to Latinos.

“It’s important that you have a candidate who’s willing to make the Hispanic community a priority,” Jennifer Sevilla Korn, the RNC’s deputy political director, told BuzzFeed News in April 2015.

Two months later, Donald Trump announced he was running for president.

As Republicans get ready to hand over the keys to their Hispanic operation to Trump’s campaign, many are wondering if the entire thing will be a waste, a project that died with the nominee.

The party faces a public challenge: how to draw attention to the infrastructure the party has built to appeal to minorities, while supporting a candidate who’s done nearly everything possible to alienate them.

Korn now says Trump will fight for every vote and pointed to a low-production video hesent to a Hispanic evangelical group as evidence that he will seek to engage Latinos.

But real outreach requires real time, money, and people.

The RNC has not met its stated goal of doubling staffers for its strategic initiative, aimed at Hispanic, black and Asian voters, with the primary focus being Latinos. An official said the party will ramp up hiring to meet its staffing goals by the time of the Republican convention. The official also contended that as a result of hiring people a year out from the 2014 elections — a first for the RNC — and keeping them on through 2016, Hispanic staff that began as field organizers are now serving as deputy state directors.

One former RNC staffer said that if Trump is serious, he’ll need his own Hispanic staffers who understand the differences in each state — it can’t just be the committee. (Trump currently has 70 paid staff, compared to the more than 700 people employed by the Clinton campaign.)

Another Republican operative joked that Trump’s life is not that different from a telenovela on Telemundo. (“The ladies are scantily clad, the guy is old and has a lot of hair.”) But said more worrying for Republicans is not his aversion to Univision, but his aversion to data.

Targeting Hispanic voters is hard, the operative said, recalling a time a campaign’s Hispanic voter file in Virginia held the phone numbers not of Latino voters, but of Filipinos. In Colorado, the former RNC staffer said, there has to be an understanding that the first name is a bigger indicator than the last name of the profile of the Latino voter being called. “Ryan Hernandez” would more likely be a second or third generation Hispanic, but “Luz Hernandez” would be more likely to be an immigrant and speak Spanish. These are the kinds of things real operatives know about outreach.

And Trump will likely struggle to hire those staffers, too. Three Republicans with ties to the RNC said they have heard from operatives who are looking to leave the RNC to work on key congressional races. People who are described as “committed to the Republican Party, just not committed to Trump.” Other conservatives say most party operatives will fulfill their commitment and that it’s not odd that some to want to leave because they might be layered by the Trump campaign or asked to do a job they’re not passionate about.

One party operative, a lifelong Republican, told BuzzFeed News they plan to leave to go work on down-ballot races. “I’ve always supported conservative principles, but when I look at the things I align with, they do not align with Trump.”

“We put a lot of time and hard work when it comes to this business,” the operative said. “Early mornings, late nights, tough deadlines, stress, we sacrifice a lot — to do this for a person, for a cause I don’t believe in, I can’t do it.”

But if Trump really plans to do this, Latino evangelicals and their aversion to some Democratic stances on social issues would be a good place to start.

Even here their support is anything but assured. In 2012, Hispanic evangelicals made up 16% of all Latino registered voters; Pew found they supported Obama 50% to Romney’s 39% weeks before the election, compared to the 71% of Hispanics overall that voted for Obama. And, while self-identified evangelicals have supported Trump this year, regular church attendance was one of the leading factors in polls where Trump’s support was softest.

To that end, Trump in May met with Pastor Bramnick, a leading Cuban-American evangelical leader with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). While Hispanic faith leaders oppose the kinds of immigration policies that Trump espouses, Bramnick left convinced that Trump could be trusted on immigration, tellingTIME that the bombastic billionaire possessed “tremendous understanding and concern for the undocumented immigrants.”

A source who spoke with Bramnick told BuzzFeed News that confidence is because Trump conveyed that he knows there is more to immigration than just building a wall. While the pastor wasn’t told Trump would be offering new policies, the source said, this was enough to make him believe that further conversations could yield softer edges from the candidate on immigration as the general election barrels closer.

Trump’s tone on immigration is crucial. NHCLC founder Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said that even if the presumptive Republican nominee says “wonderful” things about entrepreneurship, religious liberty, ending Christian persecution, and helping educate Latinos, he needs to rein himself in on immigration.

“To step into that promised land, he has to cross the Jordan,” Rodriguez said. “If he continues to say I’m going to deport 11 million people, they’re going to shut him out. He needs to say, I misspoke. I can’t make America great again without God-fearing, hard-working, family-loving Latino-Americans.”

For Trump to change that broadly, he needs to not just pivot and soften his stances in private meetings or with English-language media, but he has to complement that with actually going on Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo. MRC Latino executive director, Ken Oliver-Mendez, who monitors those networks, said they have subtly begun including the viewpoints of Hispanic Trump supporters, but the major shift would come with the candidate doing a high-profile interview.

“This is the one segment of the national media where he’s not calling, where he’s not doing the interviews,” Oliver-Mendez said.

Many Latino conservatives meanwhile say they won’t serve as surrogates on Spanish-language networks, crucial validators who could tell Hispanic viewers that the Trump they’ve been told is a villain for the last year is actually misunderstood.

“The problem here is the RNC is like a distribution company,” said Alfonso Aguilar, a former Bush administration official and one of those Spanish-language surrogates who would support the nominee in any other year. “You have a great distribution deal, but if the product is bad, the people are not going to like it.”

It’s not, he said, the fault of Reince Priebus, the RNC’s Hispanic media director, or Korn. “The problem is Trump. Unless a miracle happens and he says ‘I didn’t mean to say the majority of Mexicans are rapists or criminals,’ he goes to the community, stops insulting Univision, and becomes consistent, then perhaps he’s sellable. But at this point I haven’t seen any effort.”

(There may be some consolidation without any effort, however. In Nevada, support is already shifting toward Trump, said Jesus Marquez, a radio host and Republican operative. Marquez, who supported Jeb Bush and then Marco Rubio is waiting to see if Trump moves more to the center. “Three to four months ago, most of the callers were against Trump,” Marquez continued. “But now if I get 25 to 30 calls, half of those calls are in support.”)

For its part the RNC says it has people willing to speak for Trump nationally and locally on Spanish-language networks. “Everyone has to make their own decisions on who they can support and can’t support but our surrogate list is strong,” Korn said.

And meanwhile, the committee has begun to focus on down-ballot races, telling BuzzFeed News it is set to pump $4 million into 15-second and 30-second cross-platform video ad buys on Univision, targeting Republicans and independents at the state level.

Besides having Spanish-language pro-Trump surrogates, the bread and butter of the RNC message appears to be an anti-Hillary Clinton one. Officials pointed to a May surrogate call where Republicans asked for talking points, wanting to know “every single thing about Hillary Clinton, her immigration stance, and all her flip flops.”

Democratic pollster Fernand Amandi called comparing the favorability of Trump and Clinton among Latinos, a “false equivalency.”

“The Hispanic community has long had an appreciation for the Clintons,” he said, noting that she did well with Latinos both in 2008 and again this cycle. “But there is no more unpopular figure in the United States today with the Hispanic electorate than Donald Trump.”

The likelihood that Trump will do badly, and perhaps historically so, with Latinos, means conservatives are coming up with creative suggestions for Hispanic voters. Aguilar says they should leave the presidential ballot empty and instead take care of those further down the ballot.

Rene Plasencia is one of those down ballot Republicans. A feather in the cap of the RNC, the Orlando native won his race to become a Florida state representative in 2014, but now must contend with being on the ballot along with Trump. He personally thinks he will do fine because he is from the community and because he’s Hispanic (Cuban and Puerto Rican, in heavily Puerto Rican Orlando). But in his community, he knows many have strong feelings about Trump.

“Walking among Hispanic homes, Trump is not very popular,” he said. It’s “the culture around him. It seems like it’s a non-inclusive, divisive culture. People here are trying to build communities, have strong schools, and safe streets. He doesn’t seem helpful to that.”

Most frustratingly for many Latino Republicans is that this is not a new development. The 2013 Growth and Opportunity Project stated that “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation), they will not pay attention to our next sentence.”

It is these concerns that lead to fears of a down ballot blowout, among some GOP Latinos.

“If Cory Gardner was running on the ballot now,” Aguilar said of the lauded Colorado senator, “he would fair the same.”

Original article can be read here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/adriancarrasquillo/the-gop-spent-years-building-a-latino-outreach-projectis-tru?utm_term=.fmoY9p7bg3#.bbRP1Yvm03

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U.S. election news: Donald Trump catches up with Hillary Clinton in latest poll after trailing for months

In an apparent indication that he is gaining more new supporters, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is now neck-and-neck with likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the latest survey after trailing her for months.

According to a RealClearPolitics average of national polls, Trump now enjoys the support of 43.4 percent of voters while Clinton has 43.2.

This developed as Trump continued to make overtures toward Hispanics, Muslims, and Christians, according to CBN News.

Last week, the billionaire businessman pressed his charm campaign as he addressed the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in California by video.

“National Hispanic Christian – three great words. We are going to take care of you; we’re going to work with you,” Trump said in the recorded message.
Some prominent conservative Hispanics are now saying they would be open to reconciling with Trump if he changes his policies on immigration, according to CBN News.

Trump is also reaching out to the Muslim community after antagonising them with his controversial proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.

According to The Hill reports, Walid Phares, Trump’s national security adviser, has “quietly opened backchannels” within the community.

Trump is also expected to meet privately with key evangelical leaders on June 21 in New York City to seek their support, Time Magazine reports.

“We’ll probably have about 500 conservative, social conservative leaders, not just evangelicals, conservative Catholics, coming together for a conversation,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.

National Latino evangelical leader Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said Trump, as well as Clinton, need to carefully address core Latino Christian values if they expect to win the Latino vote. He said these values revolve on religious liberty, education reform, and life issues.

Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), said Trump needs to convince evangelicals that he is pro-life, adding that many Hispanic evangelicals are concerned about Trump’s perceived ambiguity on this issue.

Both Trump and Clinton sent videotaped messages to more than 1,200 delegates at the NHCLC convention in Anaheim, California, this weekend.

Rodriguez revealed that many are NHCLC members are supporting neither Trump nor Clinton.

“It’s a difficult choice and life is full of difficult choices,” Rodriguez said. “And that’s where we have to engage our prayerful due diligence and make sure that we’re led by the Holy Spirit.”

Original post can be read here: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/u.s.election.news.donald.trump.catches.up.with.hillary.clinton.in.latest.poll.after.trailing.for.months/86930.htm

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Opinion: Think Trump Won’t Get Latino Voters? Not So Fast

There is no more hoping and dreaming by the GOP establishment that they can grab a big chunk of the Latino vote in 2016.

Building on George W. Bush’s 2004 Latino vote share of 44 percent will have to wait, again.

But not all hope is gone. While most Latinos don’t love Trump as he asserts – let’s be very clear about that – he’ll be likable enough. I think he’ll at least get a quarter of the Latino vote—what Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney received. In fact, he may just surpass Romney and flirt with thirty percent.

PlayTrump Leads ‘Build That Wall’ Chant in California Facebook Twitter Google Plus Embed
Trump Leads ‘Build That Wall’ Chant in California 0:36
The most recent NBC News/WSJ poll has Trump with 20 percent of registered Latino voters. The most recent Fox News Latino poll has him with 23 percent of the Latino vote.
At first blush it doesn’t make sense that someone who characterizes Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists and who leads supporters to chant about building a nonsensical wall on the U.S.-Mexico border could garner any Latino support.

However there are a couple of interrelated reasons that explain why Trump will get around the same amount of Latino love as the last GOP presidential candidate.

Latinos are not homogeneous

Yes, the majority of Latinos identify with the Democratic Party or lean toward it. But depending on what state you’re in there’s usually around 20 percent (give or take) of Latinos that identify with the GOP. Latinos identify most as Independents rather than with either party so there is some wiggle room.

Latinos are also diverse along country of origin lines and immigration generation. While we know from research that Latinos as a whole are more in favor of immigration reform the influence of the issue is going to be a little different for a first generation immigrant versus a 5th-generation immigrant.

A general campaign is not the same as a primary campaign

In primary contests candidates run to the extremes and in the general election they moderate. Trump won’t suddenly embrace Latinos but stylistically his tone will soften.

We already saw a preview of that last week when Trump gave a video address to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. We saw a subdued candidate talk about solving minority unemployment, bringing back jobs, creating great schools, and lowering the debt. When Trump spoke about Hispanics specifically he said he would to create, “really safe communities because our communities in many cases are not safe which is very, very unfair to Hispanics and frankly everybody else.”

And of course Trump brought up immigration. There was no mention of Mexican drug dealers or The Wall, instead, “we’re going to stop drugs from pouring into our country, we’re going to strengthen our borders, people are going to come into our country but they’re going to come in through a process, come in legally…”

He’s locked down his base with the anti-immigrant bluster. Now he just needs to expand his voter pool. If the address to the National Hispanic Christian Conference is any indication of what’s to come we’ll see less of the Mexican “rapists” comments and more of his populist economic message.

Aspirational Branding

Unlike Mitt Romney or any other rich politico, Trump brags instead of demurs about his wealth. He boasts about his money, his Ivy League education, the plane, the hotels and the beautiful people he’s surrounded by. But it’s not his rich contemporaries who constitute his main supporters.

These folks are not voting for Trump because, “he’s just like them.” They’re voting for him because they want to be him.
In the consumer marketing world what Trump is doing is referred to as aspirational marketing. Why is it that most of the models in our TV ads are thinner and better looking than the vast majority of America? It’s because aspiration is an incredibly powerful force — as humans we aspire for better and we will work toward pursuing that.

It’s a tried-and-true mechanism in consumer marketing and Trump has showed how effective it is in politics. Why should Latino voters be immune to Trump’s message of a wealth and success? Immigrants are by definition aspirational — they come to a new land for a promise of a better life, and they’ve inculcated that in their children, too. It’s not a stretch to see how Trump’s messaging could connect with some voters who think he represents the definition of success and overlook his negative rhetoric and his

There will be Latinos who just like Trump’s style and aspirational message and can look past his bluster and outrageous statements as well as his dangerous dance with conspiracy theories. And then there will be those who don’t like Trump but believe in the GOP. Either way, there will be Latinos who vote for him — as of now, that portion is believed to stand at 20 percent. And that’s before Trump has gotten into his moderate general election groove.

Mark my words, come November Trump will get 25, maybe even 30 percent of the Latino vote.

Original article can be read here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/opinion-think-trump-won-t-get-latino-voters-not-so-n580861

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Dawn Bennett, Host of Financial Myth Busting, Interviews Niger Innis, Political Consultant and Commentator

Washington, DC — (ReleaseWire) — 05/27/2016 — DAWN BENNETT: Niger Innis is the national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality, otherwise known as CORE. He’s an MSNBC commentator and a political consultant. CORE is best known for its forward-thinking role in organizing acts designed to confront and end apartheid in America, as well as fighting for Americans of all colors, which brings me to question which most Americans have: is it inevitable we will soon be calling the next president of the United States President Trump? Niger, welcome to Financial Myth Busting.

NIGER INNIS: Great to be on with you.

BENNETT: So, like it or not, will Donald Trump be our next president?

INNIS: I think it’s a very real possibility. I think if we could rewind to a year ago and ask the question could Donald Trump become the Republican nominee, I think nine out of ten Americans would have said no, and then one out of the ten would have been checked into insane asylum.

BENNETT: A few months ago, you did say that a superhero Republican candidate would be a blend of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and, as it turns out, they were the final two remaining, with Trump of course winning out. What does Cruz have that Trump doesn’t, and what does Trump have that Cruz did not?

INNIS: Well, what Cruz has and had is an undying commitment to the Constitution. I mean, he’s truly a Constitutional Conservative. One of the other organizations I lead is the Tea Party Forward—you can find us at teapartyforward.com. One of the largest national Tea Party groups in the country, and what we share with Senator Cruz, which is why endorsed him, is a real fealty to the Constitution. We’re not quite sure just yet about Donald Trump, we’re all supporting him now, now that Ted Cruz has dropped out, and we certainly prefer Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, but we’re certainly not sure if Donald Trump is going to be a Constitutional Conservative or could he very well be a big government Conservative. So that even if he makes the choices that we would like, how he executes those choices, through executive orders or through running roughshod over Congress and not recognizing the separation of powers, is something that would concern us, that wouldn’t concern us as much with a Constitutional Conservative like Ted Cruz. On the flipside though, what thrills the Tea Party about Donald Trump is his ability to confound the media, his ability to not only circumvent the media, the establishment media, but to actually shape and confront the media and get them to talk, to say his talking points as opposed to him playing from their song sheet.

BENNETT: He does seem to have this chokehold on the media. It’s fascinating even how he turned House Speaker Paul Ryan around. Ryan did capitulate and he is now going to support the presumptive nominee in whatever capacity necessary at the Republican National Convention. It’s just fascinating to me the power that he has. But one of the knocks on Trump is that, he is even more unpopular with minorities than past Republican candidates, and the numbers definitely bear out. So, now that Trump’s the presumptive Republican nominee how can he start undoing the damage that he has done with the minority voter?

INNIS: Well, I think actually has already started. By the way, let me say to your point about the Republican rallying around Donald Trump. I’m currently in Louisville, Kentucky, at the NRA Convention, and he is like a rock star down here. He is loved and there’s tremendous rallying. Senator Mitch McConnell was down here as well, this is his home, and he even had a moment of unity with Donald Trump as well. But getting to the minority question, I think Donald Trump has already started. He reached out to a very good friend of mine, Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which represents some 30 million Latino Evangelicals across the country, and Trump addressed them recently and gave a very conciliatory message. He didn’t contradict himself in things he had said before. He just said that his message and my agenda of bringing jobs back into the country is going to be something that uplifts the Hispanic community. And I actually think where Trump has the ability to again confound conventional wisdom is actually in the black community. I think his talk of building a wall, the economic American nationalism that he promotes, it’s something that would appeal greatly to a number of black Americans. Particularly, we hear in this election and we see it and we often say that it’s a reflection of angry white males—Trump’s popularity. But the little hidden story is that is not talked about as much is that there are a lot of black males and Latino males that are angry too, that are unemployed or underemployed and want an opportunity to earn a living and be breadwinners for their family.

BENNETT: Let’s talk about Hilary and I’m going to bring her into this race discussion, because you always hear about Clintons’ “firewall down South”, which is of course a code for black voters in the South, and I’m wondering how reliable you think that support will be. We’ve seen Black Lives Matter protesters confront her on several occasions, and of course there is the continued controversy over her husband’s signing of the crime bill that toughened penalties for drug related crimes. Is there any reason for Hillary to worry black voters may not be as enthusiastic about her candidacy as she assumes?

INNIS: Well, there are two manifestations of the black vote, right. There is a percentage of the black vote that Hillary can garner of those who come out. And then there is the question of turnout. I think there is no question about it that it is going to be very difficult for Hillary Clinton to garner the type of turnout which was record-setting in 2008, but pretty high in 2012, considering the feebleness of the Obama presidency, it was pretty impressive the turnout of the black vote in 2012. I don’t think Hillary is going to get anything close to that. And more than that, if Donald Trump makes a real effort, doesn’t go to this with conventional Republican playbook, which is to ignore the minority community, or to just overly obsess on the Latino vote alone, but if there is a real effort made by the Trump campaign to cut into the black vote, I think he could garner anywhere between 10-20%. And if he’s anywhere close to 10%, to 15%, to 20% of the black vote, he not only wins this walking away, he wins this in a Reagan-like electoral landslide.

BENNETT: Speaking of Black Lives Matter, I know you have had some choice comments about their contribution to the Civil Rights Movement. What do you make of how the black rights movement has morphed into this outwardly confrontational activist group, and are these protesters really helping racial minorities along?

INNIS: No, they’re not. I’m sure I’m not going to surprise you. I don’t have a great deal of affection for the Black Lives Matter campaign, principally because their media celebration is not reflective of their popularity in the black community. There was a poll taken by Gallup during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and spotlight on them in the August of 2015, this was post-Ferguson. And in that poll, it asked the question to all Americans, but in particular the blacks, it asked: do you think that there are too many police in the community, not enough police in the community, or just enough. When you combine those that believe that there were just enough, just the right amount of police in the community, or not enough in the community, that number was 89%. Those that thought that there were too many police in the community, that you would think would be reflective of the Black Lives Matter ideology, was 10 percent. So, it was nine to one in the black community of those who felt that we want as many cops that we have in the community right now, or we want more cops in the community. So I think the Black Lives Matter, while they are reflective of a progressive agenda, they’re hardly reflective of the black agenda.

BENNETT: Let me ask the general question here. How do you think racism is going to play in the 2016 presidential race?

INNIS: Well, you know, after seven years of the first black president of the U.S., it saddens me that I think race relations or actually the perception of race relations is very bad. I actually think that the reality of race relations, forget the leaders, forget the President Obamas and the Hillary Clintons and even the Donald Trumps, and the Al Sharptons and the professional racial representatives that we have out there, and just look at the rank and file, look at younger people, look at the generation younger than us, the teenagers, 20-something, 30-something and what you find is that there is more color blindness in our society among that generation than I think you’ve had in American history. So I think actually race relations are strong among regular people, but I think the political culture has poisoned the well when it comes to race relations, and that saddens me coming seven years after President Obama. I think Hillary Clinton has no alternative, because she cannot say I want to be the third term of Barak Obama. We keep hearing that the economy is doing fairly well. Well, most people just don’t believe it, most people just don’t buy it. Wages are flat, people are working two or three jobs just to keep above water; there’s not only a record-high unemployment among young black youth, young black male youth, but there is tremendous underemployment among all Americans. And so she can’t really run on a third term of Barack Obama. So I think what she’s going to do, and she has no choice what to do politically, is to demonize Donald Trump and say that he is anti-Hispanic, he is anti-black, he’s anti-women, he’s a rich white male, and I think that’s going to be the campaign from Hillary Rodham Clinton, and I just don’t know that that’s going to stick. I think the American people are hungry for change and I think in a real turnabout, the Democratic nominee is going to be viewed largely as the establishment candidate and Donald Trump is going to be viewed as the insurgent.

BENNETT: Niger, talking about Hillary, you wrote a piece called Truth About Hillary, and I think it’s astonishing that Hillary has taken millions off the Sultan of Brunei, who actually stones men for being gay. Then in the meantime, she’s also saying one thing to wealthy donors and the New York gay community, but she’s taking these millions from oil-rich nations that advocate murder or stoning for gay men. Can you talk a little bit about that?

INNIS: Absolutely. And the thing about this is that this is not some ancient custom from the Koran from a millennia ago. This was a bill that the Brunei parliament, or whatever their legislative body or their leadership body is, passed a year ago. This is a fairly recent phenomenon where they passed a law saying that it was legal and preferred that you stone gay men to death, which is just so horrific and barbaric. And nevertheless, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation took millions of dollars from the Brunei government. In fact, we have a commercial on YouTube, go to theteapartyforward channel on YouTube and you will see that commercial that we ran on the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton. And one thing I find about millennials and younger folks, be they liberal, conservative, Republicans, or Democrats, is what they cannot stand more than anything with politicians is hypocrisy. And I think what that money speaks of, and Hillary Clinton’s silence in condemning a new piece of legislation passed about stoning gay men to death is utter, total hypocrisy.

BENNETT: Trump is going to be naming his VP nominee. He says his pick is going to be political, meaning he wants the choice to help him win more votes. He has even signaled a willingness to pick a Democrat. What do you think he should do if he actually did pick a Democrat, would Republicans still turn out for him?

INNIS: Republicans would still turn out, but don’t I think he needs a Democrat. Some people say he should pick a Democrat so he can create a fusion candidacy. The reality is that Donald Trump is viewed by many of us loyal Republicans as a fairly newcomer to the Republican party. So in a sense, he is the fusion candidate himself at the top of the ticket. So what I think he needs to do is really target where he is going to be vulnerable and where this election could very well be run. One, which is among suburban, predominantly white women, but suburban women generally. And I think there are several others, but two picks that would be outstanding. One would be Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who would bring foreign policy credentials, and she would also appeal to those suburban women. I also think another person that would be quite intriguing would be Marco Rubio, who would not only be generationally important, could appeal to millennials, obviously could appeal to Latinos, also has a certain degree of foreign policy credibility and I also think would be tremendously appealing to suburban women, which is going to be the swing vote. I think whoever wins, suburban women, or if Trump could at least neutralize Hillary’s natural advantage among suburban women, he could very well take this election.

BENNETT: How can someone get in touch with you and/or read anything that is coming out of the Tea Party Forward or the Congress of Racial Equality?

INNIS: You can go to the congressofracialequality.org, that’s our organization, and you can also go to Teapartyforward.com.

For over a quarter century, Dawn Bennett has been successfully guiding clients through the complexities of wealth management. Dawn Bennett provides individual investors, corporations and foundations with holistic investment strategies. Her unique vision and insight into market trends makes Bennett a much sought after expert resource with regular appearances on Fox News Channel, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and MSNBC as well as being featured in Business Week, Fortune, The NY Times, The NY Sun, Washington Business Journal in addition to her highly regarded weekly talk radio program – Financial Mythbusting. Through prudent and thoughtful advice, Dawn Bennett has strived to consistently provide the highest quality of guidance.

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What would it take for Hispanic conservatives to back Donald Trump?

Donald Trump’s video address to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference earlier this month was supposed to provide an opportunity for him to both appeal to conservative Latino values and make a serious attempt to court Hispanic voters in California.

Organizing efforts around Trump’s virtual appearance had been going on for weeks, according to NHCLC president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. And before the California GOP primary was essentially nullified by Ted Cruz’s exit from the Republican race, conversations between the Trump campaign and Rodriguez’s staff hinted that Trump had even considered addressing the conference in person.

The NHCLC speech was intended to show the sincerity of Trump’s outreach effort, since the most recent memory many Hispanics had of any positive sentiment toward them from Trump was his Cinco de Mayo tweet, which featured a Trump Tower taco bowl and the businessman’s declaration, “I love Hispanics!”

So it was with “cautious, prayerful anticipation” that the conference — a nonpartisan group that brought together over 1,200 Hispanic leaders at its weekend meeting — awaited Trump’s taped speech, Rodriguez told CBS News.

When the NHCLC played the two-minute address at their conference, this is what one of nation’s largest Hispanic evangelical groups saw:

The video, filmed in vertical cell phone dimensions, shows Trump seated at his plane, glancing down at a sheet of paper from which he appeared to read the name of the organization. The New York billionaire ticked off a number of issues his administration would tackle, including “minority unemployment,” building good schools, and ensuring “really safe communities” (because “our communities in many cases are not safe, which is very, very unfair to Hispanics and, frankly, everybody else”). He touched briefly on immigration, promising to strengthen the border while still allowing some to legally “come in through a process.”

Trump ended his pitch with this: “National. Hispanic. Christian. Three great words. We’re going to take care of you. We’re going to work with you. You’re gonna be very happy. You’re gonna like President Trump.”

After the video concluded, Rodriguez recalled, one conference executive took over the microphone and told the congregation: “I believe it’s time to pray.” The comment was met with widespread chuckles.

The address, for Rodriguez, fell far short of what he wanted and what he believed could have drawn his Latino brethren into the Trump fold: a serious plan to “completely” halt illegal immigration but without separating undocumented families, a commitment to pro-life policies, and a pledge to halt the infringement of religious liberties.

Most of all, Rodriguez had hoped for an apology for the Latino stereotypes Trump has peddled along the campaign trail, including the characterization of Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “criminals” — labels the reverend called “offensive, on steroids.”

“The ideal scenario would have been Donald Trump addressing the rhetorical demagoguery, the verbal hyperbole that took place as it pertains to immigrants,” said Rodriguez, who had served as an adviser to the primary campaigns of Jeb Bush (who he counts as a personal friend), Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.

“Was this the mea culpa, olive branch moment?” Rodriguez said. No, he continued, “That did not happen.”

He later added: “I have no plans on endorsing Donald Trump whatsoever.”

With the Hispanic community — even among those whose policy preferences lean conservative, like Rodriguez’s — Trump has a lot of ground to make up ahead of the general election, where Latinos will make up a projected 12 percent of voters this year, according to the Pew Research Center.

In a Fox News poll conducted earlier this month, Trump drew just 23 percent of support among Hispanic voters nationally. That number is much lower in other recent surveys, and compared to the GOP nominee support among Hispanics in previous national election years, it’s downright abysmal. (George W. Bush had 35 percent of support among Hispanics in 2000, 40 percent in 2004. John McCain, in contrast, had 31 percent of support in 2008, while Mitt Romney had 27 percent.)

And in the clearest sign yet of Hispanics’ unfavorable views of Trump: During his campaign rallies up and down the West Coast, in states where Latinos make up a sizable portion of the population, violent protests have erupted against the presumptive nominee’s anti-immigration rhetoric and policies.

In the week after his NHCLC address, Trump alienated a prominent Latino politician, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the nation’s only Hispanic female governor and chair of the Republican Governor’s Association.

When the real estate mogul held court in Albuquerque, New Mexico last week, Trump blasted Martinez, a vocal critic of his immigration policies, as a poor executive, saying “We have to get your governor to get going. She’s got to do a better job, OK?” Outside the rally, protesters waved Mexican flags as they burned “Make America Great Again” tee shirts and other Trump campaign paraphernalia.

In San Diego, California, an area that represents the busiest border crossing between the U.S. and its southern neighbor, another spate of protests raged outside Trump’s Friday event. Meanwhile, inside the arena, Trump went on a protracted tirade against U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is Hispanic, for being biased and “very hostile” in overseeing a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University. Trump specifically called out his ethnicity — Curiel, he said “happens to be, we believe, Mexican” — in his minutes-long rant.

What Trump’s NHCLC address was supposed to be — a rapprochement with the Hispanic community and a turning point for the presidential campaign — seemed to fall flat in the face of Trump’s actions over the course of the next week.

Still, some prominent Republicans in the Latino community believe the moment was an opportunity for more.

Alfonso Aguilar, the executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, believes the NHCLC outreach as “a very good first step.”

“That is what actually gave me hope,” said Aguilar, who stumped for Mitt Romney in 2012 and served under the George W. Bush administration.

He noted that on certain issues Trump is even more appealing to a Hispanic constituency than Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, mentioning the presumptive GOP nominee’s openness to Puerto Rican statehood (Trump’s official platform says islanders “should be entitled to determine for themselves their political status”). Trump has also expressed skepticism about normalizing relations with Cuba (which Clinton tirelessly worked towards while she headed the State Department).

But Aguilar, too, would have liked to see Trump go further to both clarify his comments about Mexican immigrants and to present an immigration plan.

The committed Republican noted that while he’s “open to having a conversation right now” with the presumptive nominee, “it’s not enough to talk.”

Then there are Hispanic Republicans like Phil Archuletta, who says that Trump’s immigration plan is precisely why he’s a die-hard fan of the blustering reality television host-turned-politician.

Archuletta, a vice chair of New Mexico’s state Republican party and a small business owner based in the town of Mountainair, is also a delegate to the GOP convention this summer in July. In Cleveland, he’ll be throwing his hat in with Trump.

“Borders need to be blocked,” Archuletta told CBS in a phone interview. “They absolutely need to be.”

“If you live over here close to the border, these people are in fear for their lives,” he added, condemning “the criminality that’s coming in here” and the “chaos” it causes for those caught in the crossfire of gang violence and the drug trade.

It’s personal for Archuletta, whose sister died two years ago after she “got caught up in the drug system” and became hooked on the illicit substances brought in from Mexico.

“You can buy drugs in any corner of this state faster than you can buy candy,” he said. “And they hooked young kids, even the older members of the community… and then they can’t get off of it. And either they die or a drug overdose or they get to where they need the drug and they have to go steal.”

Archuletta recently attended Trump’s rally in Albuquerque, where demonstrators protested Trump outside of the city’s convention center. He offered up harsh criticisms for those activists, along with advocacy groups like the National Council of La Raza.

“They don’t talk for all Hispanics,” Archuletta insisted. “At least they don’t talk for me.”

For Gonzalo Ferrer, the chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Trump could win him over by simply including Latinos in his campaign.

“I would like to see how many Hispanic managers he has. I would like to see [Hispanics] included in his campaign. I would like to see a prominent Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court,” Ferrer told CBS.

Of Trump’s recent attempt with the NHCLC to mend the divide between Hispanics and his campaign, Ferrer offered this assessment: “It’s a good start. But it’s a little bit of a belated start.”

The expectation of Trump’s address and its subsequent tepid reception underscores how many in the conservative Hispanic community feel about Trump: that there is still a significant divide between the GOP nominee and his would-be Latino constituency.

“Donald Trump promises to build a wall — but he’s already built a wall,” said Rodriguez, the NHCLC reverend. “Now Donald Trump has to tear down his wall and build a bridge.”

Original article can be read here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-would-it-take-for-hispanic-conservatives-to-back-donald-trump/

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Latino Republicans spurn Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — Artemio Muniz is a proud Republican, but he is also the son of two Mexican immigrants — a duality that is prompting him to sit out the general presidential election this year.

Muniz, the chairman of the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans, is one of many Latino Republicans who say they cannot vote for their party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
Trump’s damage to GOP efforts to attract swing-state Latinos is well known. Muniz’s example shows a deeper phenomenon at work: The businessman is alienating Hispanics who already consider themselves Republicans, including elected officials and party leaders.

Trump captured headlines last week by singling out New Mexico’s GOP governor, Susana Martinez, for punishing scorn during a visit to her state. Martinez, the party’s highest-profile Latina, has not endorsed Trump — a reluctance that was probably exacerbated by his attack on her governing abilities.

Sometimes, Trump’s rhetoric is hurtful to a swath of voters, Hispanic conservatives said in interviews. They are offended by his comments claiming Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, by his pledge to build a Mexican border wall, and by his promise of mass deportations. They cannot stomach the idea of voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton, some said, so they will leave their presidential ballot blank.

“Donald Trump comes across as a villain in a telenovela,” Muniz said, referencing the Latin American soap opera genre. “He fits the stereotype to a T. They don’t need ominous music or a translator.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
By substantial margins, Trump is the most unpopular candidate among Hispanics, with more than three-quarters viewing him unfavorably in a Gallup poll released in March. Among Hispanic Republicans, Trump polled at 60 percent in unfavorability, worse than Democratic candidates Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

“Those are historic numbers,” said Florida-based GOP consultant Alex Patton. “He should be very concerned, especially in a swing state like Florida with significant numbers of Latino voters.”

Many conservative Latinos support hard-line immigration reform but said they found Trump’s solutions quixotic at best.

They said he would need to pivot on his more outlandish proposals, particularly his plan to deport every undocumented immigrant, as well as apologize for his nativist rhetoric, in order for them to back him.

Still, though the decision to desert Trump was necessary, they said, it wasn’t painless.

“I’m heartbroken,” Guillermo Arauz, a conservative Mexican immigrant, said. “It breaks my heart that a party that has been honorable and decent and has conservative beliefs has allowed what I would say is a circus master to be the de facto leader.”

Arauz, who lives in Chicago, came to the United States at the age of 2. He describes himself as a “very patriotic” Republican.

For Republicans, the stakes in their bid to win over Hispanics are high. The group continues to be the fastest-growing chunk of the electorate, gaining 17 percent in eligible voters since 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2004, Republican support among Latinos in general elections peaked when President George W. Bush corralled 40 percent of their vote but has since trended down, with the GOP scraping a dismal 27 percent for nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

In response to that poor showing, Republican leaders worked to reach out to Hispanics. The national party released a 100-page report that stressed rebranding itself to minorities by reforming immigration policy, meeting with prominent minority organizations, and curtailing what Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called “biologically stupid” remarks.

Then Trump came along.

“The entire autopsy on what we’re going to do to reach out to minority and women voters got ‘Trumped,’ ” Patton said. “I hope the GOP can put Humpty Dumpty back together again.’’

Among the Latino GOP leaders, support for their party’s assumed nominee is low, with several US representatives from Florida denouncing his candidacy.

Yet, many anti-Trump conservative Latinos said they will not vote for the likely Democratic nominee, either.

“Right now, Latinos are thinking one candidate is insulting us and the other wants to use us politically,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. “Latino voters are smarter. You have to do more to get the Latino vote than say, ‘I’m not Trump.’ ”

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said the Latino Christian community feels “great angst on both sides.” Rodriguez, who identifies himself as an independent, said he is insulted by Trump but finds Clinton’s pro-abortion rights and “increased government” stances horrifying as well — a no-win position this election cycle.

“I can’t believe we’re living in this kind of world,” Rodriguez said of Trump’s upcoming nomination. “I feel like I’m living in a parallel universe or a rift in space-time continuum. It’s surreal.”

Nonetheless, some Latinos know how unpredictable Trump can be and have not ruled out supporting him should he engage in some soul-searching first.

Muniz mentioned that many Mexican-Americans used to admire Trump, tying his entrepreneurial, can-do spirit to the immigrant community’s own resolve to make a better life in America. Trump’s choice to start demonizing immigrants was seen as a betrayal, Muniz said.

Muniz and other anti-Trump Latino Republicans said they are waiting for a sign that the candidate wants to repair his standing in their community.

It’s unclear whether such a gesture is coming. Trump has made headlines for his notorious taco bowl tweet on Cinco de Mayo, in which he grinned beside a Mexican-inspired Trump Tower Grill dish and wrote, “I love Hispanics!” However, he also sent a video message to a national Latino Christian conference on May 20, promising to combat minority unemployment. He ended his message saying: “National, Hispanic, Christian. Three great words.”

More such bridges must be built, some say.

“He would have to change his entire approach to Hispanics,” Patton said. “I’m not sure he’s got that in him.”

Original article can be read here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/05/31/latino-republicans-spurn-donald-trump-plan-leave-presidential-ballot-blank/Xn7b5TS0I5MKy0hRQ0VHEI/story.html

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Opinion: GOP Latinos Wait, And Wait, And Wait for a Trump ‘Pivot’

Some Latinos in the GOP have been hoping for Trump to pivot but they might as well be in Casablanca, where they wait, and wait, and wait…

The RNC’s Director of Latino Outreach, 27-year-old Ruth Guerra, got tired of waiting and left to join a super-PAC. She was replaced by Helen Aguirre Ferré, a Jeb Bush stalwart, who once tweeted that Trump’s behavior was “beyond the pale.”

Apparently, Ferré has reconsidered, like former candidate Marco Rubio, who once got Trump’s goat by saying he had small appendages, and called him a “con man.” Last week, Rubio pulled a Christie by pledging his self-interested support, telling Jake Tapper on CNN, “I want to be helpful.”

Without Latino voters in battleground states like Florida, Nevada and Colorado, the GOP will wait even longer to reach the Casa Blanca than leave Casablanca. Just a month ago, Republicanos were waiting for a new tune, but instead got Trump scarfing down a taco bowl and tweeting, “I love Hispanics!”

But that wasn’t true, it was a mentira. At a recent rally in Albuquerque, while rioters clashed with police, Trump accused Governor Susana Martinez of taking a siesta on the job, and threatened to run for governor himself. “We have to get your governor to get going,” said Trump, not only blaming her for letting in Syrian refugees but also high unemployment and more New Mexicans on food stamps.

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Trump asks for New Mexico governor’s backing 4:17
The feisty Martinez had skipped the rally, claiming she was too busy, and pointedly failed to endorse Trump. She’s the most high-profile Latina in the GOP (the only Latina governor ever) and leads the Republican Governors Association. This was a Trump trifecta, gratuitously offending Hispanics, women, and fence-sitting Republicans, the three constituencies with which he needs to mend fences.

Trump’s Latino outreach continued when he addressed the annual conference of the conservative National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Its president, Samuel Rodriguez, Jr. had called on him to change his draconian immigration policy and apologize for his previous insults. Trump sent a tone-deaf video which appeared to have been filmed on a cellphone in his private plane, saying, “You’re going to like President Trump.”

A few days later, Trump was on a roll and couldn’t resist a cheap shot when the PGA decided to move a golf tournament from Trump’s course in Miami to (of all places) Mexico City. “I hope they have kidnapping insurance,” he said.

As if that weren’t enough, Trump next took aim at U.S. District Judge Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over two of the lawsuits against Trump U., calling him a “hater” and even worse, a “Mexican.”

Judge Curiel is a tough, well-respected jurist who helped take down the drug cartel before being appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who by the way was a Republican. Yet Trump claims Curiel has an “inherent conflict of interest” because of the proposed border wall. Even Megan Kelly (herself a lawyer) thought this was nonsense, saying Trump was “out of line.”

Born in Indiana to hard-working immigrant parents, Curiel is no more a Mexican than Trump is a German. But we know what he meant.
Now that he’s won the GOP nomination, why hasn’t Trump made nice with Latinos? He’s walked back many of his more extreme positions (such as punishing women for abortions) so why not say, “Hey, just kidding, I’m not really going to deport 11 million of you.”

It might work. Latinos are a proud people, but we can also suck it up when convenient, like Rubio. This seems to be the wistful hope of the usually contrarian columnist Ruben Navarrette, who wrote,”It’s not too late for Trump to do the right thing — which is also the smart thing — with Hispanic Americans.”

Trump gave a clue why that won’t happen at the raucous press conference over his donations to veterans when he insulted two Latino-surnamed reporters, CNN’s Jim Acosta and ABC’s Tom Llamas.

Trump once had his goons throw Univision anchor Jorge Ramos out of a press conference (that seems so long ago!) but now restricted himself to mocking Acosta’s looks and calling Llamas a “sleaze.”

When Acosta brought up Judge Curiel and asked why he would antagonize a federal judge over his ethnicity, Trump replied, “Because I don’t care.”

That’s another lie. Taco bowls aside, it’s no wonder that Trump has doubled down. Each insult is as calculating and transparent as a sales pitch for Trump U.

Deep down, does he really hate Latinos? We’ll probably never know and who cares, anyway? But when Trump launched his presidential campaign a year ago by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and “drug dealers,” he realized he had struck gold with an angry, disaffected base, who agreed with him.

Trump may not know Brexit from burritos, but as a casino owner he understands the odds. A Washington Post-ABC News poll in May found that 84 percent of Latinos view him unfavorably, and that was before much of the above. Trump knows he’ll never win the Latino vote and will get much more mileage and media attention (and fewer questions about his tax returns) from bashing the Latino piñata, again and again, all the way to Election Day.

So keep waiting, amigos.

Original article can be read here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/opinion-gop-latinos-wait-wait-wait-trump-pivot-n585371

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