Still reeling from the cancellation of a press conference with black pastors, where he hoped to gain their endorsement, 2016 GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump also has a Hispanic problem — specifically, Republican Hispanic members in the House of Representatives who want nothing to do with him.
According to The Hill, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and attacks on Mexicans as “rapists” is keeping Hispanic lawmakers at an arm’s length, not wanting anything to do a candidate who is making a political party already unpopular with a growing Latino populace even more unpopular.
House Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who is in his first term, wants nothing to do with Trump.
“He would have to start by apologizing to all the people he’s offended and for the mockery that he’s made out of the presidential campaign,” said Curbelo.
Echoing many Republicans, including big money GOP donors who are sinking millions of dollars into a PAC created to destroy Trump before he can win the presidential nomination, Curbelo thinks a Trump presidency would be “a bad thing for the country.”
Of greater concern to Hispanic lawmakers is Trump’s attacks on Hispanic broadcasters, media outlets, and protesters that could hurt gains in Latino-rich states like California, Colorado, Nevada and Florida.
“I represent an immigrant-rich community. Many of us are not happy with those comments,” Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) explained. “Some don’t think that’s a problem. I do.”
Ros-Lehtinen, who backs the fading candidacy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, admitted that she would probably back Trump if he were to garner the nomination, but think he should apologize to the Hispanic community for his over the top nativist remarks.
Former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida is also staying away from Trump, saying he hopes he’s not the party’s standard-bearer in the 2016 election.
“I’m not ready to endorse Trump, let’s put it that way,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t come to that. I hope there are some better choices for us.”
Hispanic Republicans, and GOP members in general, have good reason to fear how a Trump candidacy could affect other candidates down-ticket in the 2016 election.
According to a recent PRRI survey, Trump is deeply unpopular with the Hispanic community, with 80 percent of those surveyed opposing him, and 59 percent holding a “very unfavorable” opinion of the businessman-turned-reality TV star.
Only 5 percent said they were unfamiliar with the candidate.