It’s that time again when presidential candidates seeking the youth and Latino vote are turning to a hugely popular artist among both groups, hoping his support will bring his fans to their corner.
The rapper Pitbull, a Cuban-American from Miami, loves politics nearly as much as he does music.
Never hesitant to speak his mind about candidates, "Mr. Worldwide" recently issued a warning to both political parties.
He said that Republicans and Democrats need to be more assertive and vocal if they’re going to mute presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's momentum and his increasingly straight march to the White House.
Pitbull has been known to lean Republican, but he also holds liberal positions on some issues, and he has little tolerance for candidates who embrace a hard line on immigration as Trump does. That's a key reason why he endorsed President Barack Obama over GOP challenger Mitt Romney in 2012.
“I don’t think [Trump] knew what he was talking about [when he said those things about Mexicans],” Pitbull said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair magazine, “and there’s nothing he won’t say to have the limelight. The more outlandish [it is], the more they put it on television.”
The Miami rapper's A-lister status and celebrity lifestyle hasn’t lessened his sense of duty to the Latino community, and he takes personally any perceived slight toward Latinos or immigrants.
“There are still a lot of families that are first-generation Latinos in the United States who still have that connection with their countries,” he told Vanity Fair, “whether it’s Mexico or the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia or Cuba. They still have families there that they’re taking care of and still understand the struggle.”
In 2012, Romney’s campaign aggressively pursued a Pitbull endorsement, to no avail.
The year before, Pitbull told CNN, "When it comes to immigration laws in the United States of America, I think that [anti-immigration laws like Arizona's SB 1070] is very contradicting to everything that this beautiful country stands for. This is a country that's been built by immigrants."
He added, "If we start pushing people out or not allowing them in or not allowing them to indulge in at least feeling what it's like to have freedom and maybe in their own way to live out the American dream, I think it's very contradicting to everything that the Constitution stands for."
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