Hillary Clinton has a challenge for Latinos: Prove former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wrong.
In a bilingual conference call on Wednesday night with her supporters, Clinton referred to a comment Brewer made recently to a newspaper reporter about how unlikely a victory by the Democratic presidential nominee is, given the tendency of Latinos to stay home on Election Day.
“Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said over the weekend that Republicans didn’t have to worry about the vote, Donald Trump didn’t have to worry about the election, because Latinos don’t get out to vote,” Clinton said, according to The Washington Post. “Not only is that insulting, but she may not be paying attention.”
“So let’s prove the former Arizona governor Jan Brewer is wrong,” Clinton said, “and let’s make sure we have the biggest turnout of Latino voters in history.”
Brewer, who has been campaigning for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, told a Boston Globe reporter that Latinos “don’t get out and vote.”
Brewer made the remark in response to a question by the reporter about whether Democratic-leaning Hispanics would help Clinton win Arizona.
Over the weekend, after an outcry over her remarks, Brewer took to her Twitter account and said she would love to see “100 percent turnout for all demographics” and that every vote matters.
Brewer also noted that Hispanic turnout in Arizona for the 2012 general election was 40 percent.
Hispanic activists, however, have been using her statements as a rallying point to get voters to the polls.
Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, an organization that is holding get-out-the-vote campaigns in Latino communities, said that Brewer’s comment demonstrates how little she understands Hispanics.
“There’s a disconnect from the Latino and immigrant communities,” Falcon said to Fox News Latino. “Latinos and immigrants have contributed to the state’s economy, and made Arizona a stronger community for all of us.”
Falcon said that hardliners like Brewer, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who became known nationally for his immigration patrols, have in fact contributed to higher voting participation among Latinos.
Brewer gained national attention about six years ago when she pushed for state-level hardline immigration laws, notably SB 1070, which required police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there was “reasonable suspicion” that they were undocumented.
In her call, Clinton said that early voting in states such as Nevada and Florida showed strong turnout in general, and among Latinos and women, which would favor the former secretary of state. Her campaign said recently that in Florida, for instance, 133,000 Latinos had participated in early voting, constituting a 99 percent increase during the same period in the 2012 presidential election.
Clinton mentioned the support of celebrity chef Jose Andres, a native of Spain, who was featured at a rally for her in Tampa on Wednesday. Andres and Trump are suing each other because the chef pulled out of a Trump project because of statements the presidential candidate made about Mexico.
"Jose is an immigrant,” Clinton said, “and he would not tolerate the kind of hateful language that Trump was using about immigrants.”
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