I suppose it was inevitable: the anti-immigrant remarks that have come to characterize the campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have finally provoked a backlash among Hispanic Republicans. Next week, nearly two dozen of America’s top Hispanic conservative activists, including The Pulse 2016 contributor Alfonso Aguilar, will gather in Boulder, Colo., where they will have strong words for the Republican field:
The activists plan to meet on Oct. 27 in Boulder, Colo., the day before GOP presidential candidates meet in the same city for a debate hosted by CNBC. Plans for the “unprecedented gathering” have been in the works for several weeks, according to organizers, who shared the details first with The Washington Post.
Attendees will be “the people and organizations the RNC and GOP campaigns count on to engage the Latino electorate,” said Alfonso Aguilar, head of the American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership and a lead organizer of the meeting. “We’ll discuss the tone of the primary, comments about the Hispanic community and some of the immigration proposals that have been made.”
This won’t just be policy discussion, however. The activists will also be identifying candidates who have gone so far off the reservation that they’re beyond salvaging in the general. In short, they’re preparing a “un-endorsement list”:
After the meeting, the group plans to hold a news conference to “identify several candidates that will not have our support and who we are certain that if they become the GOP nominee will not get enough Latino voter support to win the general election,” Aguilar said.
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have done a lot to steer the Republican debate on life, religious liberty, and economics, but the Boulder meeting shows a weakness in their platform they cannot afford to ignore. This isn’t just a gaggle of activists, but a gathering of conservative A-listers, including representatives from the LIBRE Initiative; Mario H. Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund; Rosario Marin, former U.S. treasurer; Massey Villareal, the former chairman of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Mr. Aguilar, who is the former Chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship.
The fact that they are taking this step is a sure sign that conservative Hispanics are getting tired of anti-immigration rhetoric. Candidates who want a real shot at the White House should take note.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project.