The Trump campaign’s “Latinos for Trump” initiative kicked off with a speech by Vice President Mike Pence in Miami on Tuesday — and the audience brought back one of the signature chants of the 2016 presidential campaign.
During a speech in which the vice president praised law enforcement and called for stronger border security, members of the audience began to chant “build that wall! Build that wall!” in a scene reminiscent of three years ago.
A clip of the event begins with Pence praising “the millions of Latino and Hispanic Americans who serve on the thin blue line today.”
“Because Latino and Hispanic Americans believe in law and order. And we support our law enforcement,” Pence said.
“Build that wall! Build that wall! Build that wall!”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 25, 2019
That’s when the crowd began chanting the signature line of Trump’s prior campaign — a full-throated rejection of illegal immigration that elicited clapping and nodding from the vice president.
“You don’t have to doubt this president knows a nation without borders is not a nation,” Pence said.
“President Trump has taken decisive steps … to secure our border and to support the tens of thousands of men and women who courageously and compassionately enforce the laws of our immigration [system] across this country, including Customs and Border Protection and the men and women of ICE.”
Both agencies drew applause from the crowd.
Of course, the very idea of “Latinos for Trump” seems like an absurdity to the media and to liberals accustomed to using the community as a political bulwark — but, as the Washington Examiner pointed out, Trump won about 29 percent of the Latino vote in 2016.
That, as Politico noted, is the about same percentage that Mitt Romney did in 2012. The president’s polling with the group remains inconsistent but has been “anywhere from the mid-20s to 50%,” the Examiner reported.
That’s a big issue in Florida, a state that was key to Trump’s 2016 upset victory.
According to the Miami Herald, the number of voting Hispanics in Florida “grew by 81 percent between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, and Hispanics who registered to vote as independents grew by 101 percent, meaning Hispanics are the fastest-growing portion of Florida’s electorate heading into the 2020 election.”
Many of those Hispanics, according to WTSP-TV, migrated from Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Democrats went out of their way to mock Pence’s visit to the region, with the vice president of one Latino liberal organization calling the outreach effort “laughable.”
“This repugnant political ploy is just another example of Trump’s disdain for our community,” Mayra Macias of Latino Victory said at a news conference put on by the Florida Democratic Party, according to the Florida Phoenix, an online news site based in Tallahassee.
“It is abundantly clear to us in the community — those of us doing this work — that if Donald Trump wins, nothing good will come for our community,” Macias said.
“The good news is that Latinos have the power to change that. By 2020, the Latino electorate will be the largest ethnic non-white voting bloc in this country, and there is no state where the Latino vote is more important than the state of Florida.”
However, as Vice President Pence pointed out on Twitter, that might backfire on Democrats.
Under President @realDonaldTrump’s leadership, in two and a half short years, we have the LOWEST unemployment rate ever recorded for Hispanic Americans! #LatinosForTrump #KeepAmericaGreat pic.twitter.com/d0xi562moU
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) June 25, 2019
Trump has delivered a booming economy that has lifted all boats, particularly in the Hispanic community.
And, as Tuesday proved, not all of them are against a border wall or tighter border security.
Counting on using Latinos to deliver swing states — and moving further to the left to do it — could be the undoing of whoever ends up taking up the Democrat mantle in 2020.
That’s hardly “laughable” material.
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