Democratic Convention

Staunch Sanders supporter Rep. Raúl Grijalva urges Latinos to back Clinton

Staunch Sanders backer, Rep. Raúl Grijalva believes it's time for all Latinos to rally behind Hillary Clinton.

 

Arguably the most prominent and vocal Bernie Sanders supporter among Hispanic members of Congress has been Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, and he believes that Latino supporters of the U.S. Senator from Vermont will ultimately come around and support Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Grijalva, who is set to speak Monday night at the Democratic National Convention, is a leader to many Sanders supporters – particularly Latinos who see immigration as the most important issue.

"It’ll be Hillary Clinton, and that nominee goes off to do battle with Donald Trump," Grijalva told Fox News Latino. "And given that scenario, then I think it’s important for myself as a a person who supported Bernie, as a progressive to support the nominee, because I really believe there is a clash of fundamental looks at how this country should be."

At the DNC on Monday, in the wake of a chaotic first convention day, the congressman expressed his dismay at the email leak that further bolstered suspicions that the DNC leadership favored Clinton over Sanders during the primary campaign. 

Grijalva said he supported the resignation of former Democratic National Committee chairperson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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"The leaks of the emails are very significant, and I think that her resignation is appropriate and necessary," Grijalva told FNL. "If you’re compromised in that position, I think it adds to the disunity, so I hope that will help with the unification [of the party], but the fact remains that there is a great deal of angst among Sanders supporters."

The 13-year congressional veteran said that despite the angst, Sanders supporters will come around.

"I choose to support Hillary Clinton because, at this junction in history, she continues to push forward a progressive agenda,” he said.

"This year biggest get out the vote strategy is Donald Trump," he added. "They are going to vote for Hillary. The Latino community does see Donald Trump, and their vote, as a defense of their own legacy, history and family in this country. I think it’s going to be very powerful [motivator]."

And if they don’t show up?

"If some of the Sanders supporters choose not to participate or not to vote for [Clinton], that’s their call,” he told FNL. "I’m not going to brow-beat them into saying they have to. But I think the vast majority come November are going to make that distinction between Trump and her, and she’s going to get their support."

Clinton’s VP pick of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine didn't do much to relieve the worry among Sanders supporters who were hoping for a more progressive pick, or Latinos who wanted a Hispanic candidate. 

Grijalva said he would have rather seen Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez or Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro as Clinton's running mate.

"Tim Kaine is fine,” he told FNL. "But there was an opportunity. The names you heard – [Rep. Xavier] Becerra, Castro, Perez – all, in my estimation, capable to be vice president. Would it have been historic and important? Yes. The fact that it didn’t happen I don’t think in any way takes away from the battle that is ahead.”

Bryan Llenas currently serves as a New York-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). Click here for more information on Bryan Llenas. Follow him on Twitter @BryanLlenas.