A former Treasury Department secretary under President George W. Bush has become the latest high-profile Republican to break from her party and openly support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House.
The Clinton campaign announced early Wednesday morning that Rosario Marin, the head of the Treasury Department from 2001 to 2003, has endorsed the former secretary of state. Marin, who has been a vociferous critic of Clinton, said that the nomination of Donald Trump as Republican candidate for president left her little choice but to back the Democratic nominee.
[Trump] is a menace to this country. He is a menace to the stability of the world.
- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Rosario Marin
“I have been a loyal, trusted and fiery fighter for every Republican presidential candidate,” Marin said in a statement released by Together for America, a group of prominent Republican and independent politicians who are backing Clinton. “But since July 2015, when a certain candidate, upon entering the political arena, showed his contempt for Mexican immigrants by stating they were drug dealers, rapists and murderers, I have voiced my disgust and have warned one and all of the perilous threat he was to our party, our nation and the world.”
Trump’s comments about Mexicans when he announced his candidacy – along with his promis to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States and build a wall along the country’s southern border – have rankled many Latino lawmakers and activists.
A Fox News Latino poll released late last week found that only 15 percent of registered Hispanic voters view Trump favorably and that the majority of them disagree with the billionaire businessman’s stance on immigration. If that number holds during the general election in November, Trump’s support among Latinos would be the lowest for a Republican presidential candidate since Gerald Ford, who won only 18 percent of the Hispanic vote in 1976.
Speaking to Fox News Latino, Marin said that the decision to back Clinton instead of Trump was not one that she made easily, but that there was no way she could support the real estate mogul.
“This is something I would never had done, but he is the worst, he is a menace,” Marin told FNL. “He is a menace to this country, he is a menace to the stability of the world.”
Marin, who refuse even to mention Trump’s name, added, “What this little orange man has done has been to use this issue [immigration] in a very painful way."
While former Treasury secretary – herself a Mexican immigrant – acknowledged that there a number of issues on which she disagrees with Clinton, the Democratic candidate’s promise to initiate comprehensive immigration reform legislation in her first 100 days in office if elected was the key to swaying Marin.
“That is one thing I approve that she has said,” Marin told FNL. “She has vowed to initiate immigration reform in the first hundred days. Now, we’ve heard this from presidential candidates before, but I’m going to hold her to her word.”
“I believe her when she says she will,” she added.
Marin joins a number of Republicans who have bailed on Trump in the wake of his nomination.
Among those who have gone so far as to endorse Clinton are a number of notable Latino conservatives, including Carlos M. Gutierrez, Commerce Secretary under George W. Bush, former general counsel of the Navy Alberto Mora, Justice Department special counsel William Alvarez and a former ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Connie Morella.
Marin told FNL that most of the fellow Republicans she has spoken to about her decision to back Clinton have been supportive, but some are disappointed.
“At the end of the day, I’m doing what I believe is right for me, for my family and for my community,” Marin said. “I didn’t make the decision lightly.”
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