Trump reaches out to Hispanics
His appeal echoes recent overtures to African-Americans
TAMPA, Fla. — Visiting a battleground state he can’t afford to lose, Donald Trump promised Hispanics “a much better l i fe” Wednesday in a Florida speech that continued his recent effort to soften his tone and broaden his support 11 weeks before the presidential election.
And, in an interview, he suggested he would “work with” some of the immigrants in the United States illegally, stopping short of proposing a legal path to remaining in the country but suggesting a startling about-face from his previous hard-line mass deportation proposal.
Yet the Republican presidential candidate also repeated his promise to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border to keep out immigrants, underscoring the tricky balancing act he faces in retaining backing from conservatives while beckoning to moderates for their votes.
“I am going to fight to give every Hispanic citizen a much better future, a much better life,” Trump told a crowd in Tampa as polls show him trailing in the critical state. “You have the right to walk outside without being shot. You have a right to a good education for your child. You have the right to own your home. You have the right to have a good job.”
Trump’s appeal to Hispanics largely echoed his recent outreach to AfricanAmericans. He rarely tried Donald Trump, seen speaking Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., said he’d fight to give Hispanics “a much better life.” to explicitly lure minority voters during his unlikely rise to the GOP nomination earlier this year.
But, facing a bigger electorate, Trumphas suggested Hispanics have been taken for granted by Democrats. He said the 600,000 Latinoowned businesses in Florida would benefit under his economic plan, but he offered few specifics.
“Hispanics are tired of being used by these phony politicians,” Trump said. “I say, what do you have to lose? I will fix it.”
Hispanics make up a sizable and growing percentage of Florida’s population. Trump will have a narrow path to the White House without winning the Sunshine State, which he dubbed “his second home” Wednesday.
Trump made no mention at the rally, attended largely by white supporters, of his remarks Tuesday that he would consider “softening” laws dealing with immigrants in the country illegally. But in an interview on Fox News Channel, he said that while he would not allow citizenship, he would “work with” those in the country illegally.
“Let megoastep further,” Trump said. “They’ll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes, there’s no amnesty ... but we work with them.”
In the early days of the GOP primaries, Trump vowed to use a “deportation force” to round up and deport the millions of people living in the country illegally.
Trump is expected to discuss his immigration proposals more thoroughly in Phoenix Aug. 31.
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham confirmed the event and said the speech would cover “policy.” Two officials with knowledge of the Trump campaign’s plans confirmed the topic was immigration. They weren’t authorized to speak on the record about campaign plans.
At a rally later Wednesday in Jackson, Miss., Trump said only that “any immigration policy I support as president must pass these three tests,” before saying it must improve the wages, safety and quality of life of U.S. citizens.
At the rally in overwhelmingly African-American Jackson, Trump made a similar outreach to black voters and called Clinton “a bigot” for allegedly taking for granted the support of minority voters.
Trump aides confirmed he will soon tour churches, local businesses and charter schools in black and Hispanic urban neighborhoods. Dr. Ben Carson, a close ally and former GOP primary rival, said he will accompany Trump on at least one visit.
Trump, in Mississippi, linked the movement fueling his campaign to the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union — and brought Nigel Farage, an architect of Britain’s successful “Brexit” campaign, up on stage.