There are certain inevitabilities in life. The swallows will return to Capistrano, the early primary season will deliver a wildcard candidate and Donald Trump will answer questions by exaggerating, bragging or worse.
The branding genius-turned-presidential-candidate who doesn’t think a tortured American prisoner of war is a hero; the man who questioned the president’s legal status thereby squandering valuable GOP capital that could and should have been spent on substantive issues;the man who suggests immigrants are rapists except for maybe a few good ones is now working hard to convince America that “Hispanics love” him.
He also says he will win the Hispanic vote.
Mr. Trump, how can you suggest you’re winning the Hispanic vote when three out of four Latinos say they don’t like you? Journalists like myself believe that words matter, and we’d like to ask you: Are you uninformed or indifferent to the facts?
- Rick Sanchez
Trump has been spinning that yarn now for the better part of two weeks — because cable and network television news managers generally don’t hire Latino’s as interviewers, the spool has remained unwound and unchallenged. By the way, you don’t have to be Hispanic to know something about Latinos, you only have to care or be engaged. Unfortunately, most anchors don’t and aren’t.
Instead, they too often serve as a sounding board for Trump’s unbridled non-sequiturs and circumlocution by choosing to remain uninformed, disengaged or afraid. You want an example? Consider Trump’s mantra about how Hispanics love him, will vote for him and he can prove it.
"They just did a big poll in Nevada, the state of Nevada. I'm way ahead, and more importantly as far as I'm concerned, I'm way way ahead with the Hispanics. Into the thirties," Trump repeats.
That statement by Trump is an outlandish overstatement at best and a lie at worst. Why? Because it wasn’t a poll of Hispanics — it was a poll of Republicans and Hispanics were extrapolated as a subgroup. In polling, that’s a huge difference. Also, it wasn’t even close to being a ‘big poll.’ A Washington Post investigation has revealed that the number of Latinos counted in the Gravis Poll was maybe a couple dozen.
Does Trump understand how crazy it is to deduce from that one poll that he’s a national favorite among Latinos? Of course he does. The better question is why don’t people interviewing understand that and push back?
I recognize and even admire Trump’s mastering of the splash, his skillful manipulation of the 24-hour news cycle and his innate ability to create an effective persona as the antipolitician. But that shouldn’t give him carte blanche to do and say whatever he wants to say unopposed.
In fact, a cursory Google search by the laziest of news anchors would reveal that Trump being “way ahead with Hispanics” is blatantly untrue.
In a Univision poll, Hispanic voters overwhelmingly disapproved of him. Seventy-nine percent said they found his comments to be offensive and 71 percent say they hold an unfavorable view of him.
Of course Trump will likely quibble with that poll because it’s associated with Univision, whom he is reportedly suing. So let’s move on to the next poll conducted by the The Wall Street Journal, NBC News and Telemundo. That poll sampled 250 Hispanic adults and found that 75 percent of them had a negative view of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Trump, how can you suggest you’re winning the Hispanic vote when three out of four Latinos say they don’t like you? Journalists like myself believe that words matter, and we’d like you to answer that question: Are you uninformed or indifferent to the facts?
This Friday night, thousands of members of the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) will be meeting in New York City for their annual convention. These are Hispanic professionals and students, who are Republicans, Democrats and independents alike from all over the country. As you or your staff is aware, you have been formally invited as have I. I want to ask you the questions we know you want to answer, but sadly, have not been given the opportunity to do so. I am officering that opportunity. I will wait for you on stage.