The rally Donald Trump held in New Mexico last night was almost a bit of a surprise — it seemed to catch many pundits and journalists off guard. But that may be part of a longer-term strategy from the President’s team in which they pursue what have long been known as “purple” states like NM, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
It makes sense: Even stubborn Trump must be aware how much he’s driven away voters in states that he won in 2016 with policies that have hurt American workers to the tune of a net loss so far of 300,000 good-paying jobs.
But the other side of visiting New Mexico right now, the more cynical side of it, is that it is Hispanic Heritage Month and whether Trump likes it or not, he has to reach out to Hispanic voters.
Hispanic Heritage Month is an odd observance in that it begins in the middle of September and runs until the middle of October — the dates are thus because 8 Latin American countries celebrate their independence from the 15th through the 21st of September, 5 of them right at the beginning of HHM.
But the precarious balance that Trump must strike between outreach to Hispanics and maintenance of his solidly white supremacist base is tricky for him, and could explain the bizarre interaction he had with presidential advisor Steve Cortes:
Trump remarks on how white Steve Cortes looks for being Hispanic, then bizarrely asks him, “Who do like more — the country or the Hispanics? He says the country … I may have to go for the Hispanics to be honest … we love our Hispanics.” #wut pic.twitter.com/W37pDuKL12
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 17, 2019
He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out, because he looks more like a WASP than I do … There is no one who loves his country more or Hispanic more than Steve Cortes … [Turning to Cortes] Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics? [Back to crowd] He says the country, I don’t know. I may have to go for the Hispanics, to be honest with you. We got a lot of Hispanics!”
WASP, of course, is the acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, a common demographic one might expect to find Trump in the company of.
The bizarre exchange will certainly be remembered by the target audience, though perhaps not in a way that Trump might like.
Featured image via screen capture
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