Biden says Trump hates Latinos, in pitch for key vote

Biden says Trump hates Latinos, in pitch for key vote
Biden says Trump hates Latinos, in pitch for key vote

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - US President Joe Biden accused election rival Donald Trump of despising Latinos as the incumbent tried yesterday to shore up support from a crucial demographic in the battleground states of Nevada and Arizona. — AFP pic

LAS VEGAS, March 20 — US President Joe Biden accused election rival Donald Trump of despising Latinos as the incumbent tried yesterday to shore up support from a crucial demographic in the battleground states of Nevada and Arizona.

Polls show the historically Democratic Latino community is increasingly leaning towards Republican Trump, spelling trouble for Biden in swing states that he narrowly won in 2020 and needs again in November to secure a second term.

“I mean, this guy despises Latinos,” Biden told Spanish-language broadcaster Univision in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

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He highlighted former president Trump’s repeated use of anti-immigrant rhetoric, such as describing migrants as “poisoning the blood of the country” and planning mass deportations if elected.

“Latinos were essential to my win in 2020 and they’ll be again essential,” added Biden. “I’m working hard to earn their vote.”

During his three-day swing west which began Tuesday in Nevada, Biden was due to launch a special campaign called “Latinos con Biden-Harris” — Latinos with Biden and his Vice President Kamala Harris — featuring a major television ad drive.

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The 81-year-old is also selling his economic record and highlighting issues such as abortion and immigration which Democrats believe are important to Latino voters.

“The Latino vote was critical to the president’s victory in 2020, and 2024 will be no different,” Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement, accusing Trump of having an “anti-Latino agenda”.

In Nevada Biden was traveling to the gambling capitals of Reno and Las Vegas for a campaign event and a speech on housing costs.

In Las Vegas Biden tried to counter the former president’s claims that under Trump Americans were better off.

“As I travel the country, folks often tell me how back in 2020 they were down. They lost their business and lost faith in the system,” Biden said in the speech.

He added: “But the laws we passed, the work we’ve done together, got them back on their feet. We have a lot more to do. For too many people that dream of having a good home and still feels out of reach. I get it.”

Biden was to fly later to Phoenix, Arizona for the Latino campaign launch on Tuesday night and a manufacturing announcement Wednesday.

Close race

The Grand Canyon state was the closest race in their first battle four years ago, with Biden beating Trump by just 10,457 votes, or 0.3 percentage points.

Biden finally travels to Dallas and Houston, both in Texas, for fundraising events on Wednesday and Thursday.

Democrat Biden trails 77-year-old Trump in a series of polls in six key swing states — including Arizona and Nevada — that are expected to decide their November 5 rematch.

Despite Trump’s relentless anti-immigrant language, which also includes saying “rapists” and drug dealers were crossing the border from Mexico, the complex Latino electorate is turning more Republican.

Biden won Hispanic voters two to one over Trump when he beat the Republican in 2020, but a series of recent polls show this allegiance is starting to soften.

Many of them are second-generation migrants who are particularly concerned by the crisis on the Mexican border, especially in the frontier state of Arizona.

With the fast-growing Latino community making up 19 per cent of the US population, that represents a problem for Biden.

Biden has dramatically stepped up attacks on Trump, who is seeking a historic White House comeback since they were both confirmed as their parties’ nominees this month.

Trump’s campaign however has its own problems — with the Republican facing having his assets seized after his lawyers admitted he doesn’t have the cash to appeal a US$464 million fine for fraudulently inflating his wealth. — AFP

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