Monday 27 March 2017

Key Hispanic supporters desert Trump

Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands after a joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential official residence, in Mexico City. Photo: AP
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands after a joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential official residence, in Mexico City. Photo: AP
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses the National Convention of the American Legion in Cincinnati, Ohio

Jamil Mustafa

Several key Latin American supporters of Donald Trump's presidential campaign are reportedly considering their withdrawal after the Republican nominee's tough immigration speech in Arizona on Wednesday.

Jacob Monty, a Houston lawyer and key proponent of the Latino case for Trump, resigned from Mr Trump's National Hispanic Advisory Council following the Republican presidential hopeful's remarks in Phoenix, Arizona.

Mr Monty said: "I was a strong supporter of Donald Trump when I believed he was going to address the immigration problem realistically and compassionately."

"What I heard today was not realistic and not compassionate."

Another important Hispanic supporter of Mr Trump, Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, also said he was "inclined" to withdraw his support.

Mr Trump's speech was a return to the hardline immigration rhetoric which swept him to victory in the Republican presidential primary contest.

It contrasted markedly with the more moderate tone he had taken with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City just hours earlier.

Concern

Mr Aguilar, who had previously expressed concern regarding Mr Trump's views toward Hispanic people, organised a letter of support for the Republican signed by prominent Latino conservatives, and has consistently defended Mr Trump in the media.

In the wake of the Phoenix speech he said: "It's so disappointing because we feel we took a chance, a very risky chance".

Mr Aguilar did not claim to speak on behalf of any organisation, but admitted he was deeply troubled by Mr Trump's address and that "there's a real possibility we will withdraw support from Donald Trump because of that disappointing speech."

Irish Independent

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