CNN profiled a pro-Trump Latino group on Thursday that calls itself “Border Hispanics For Trump” and is campaigning hard for President Donald Trump’s re-election.
The chairman of the organization, Ray Baca, who lives in El Paso, Texas, has made it his mission to win over as many Latinos to the GOP as possible, arguing that Republicans align more closely with the values that Latinos share than the increasingly radical Democratic Party.
“I look at President Trump as the one who most closely represents my values,” Baca told CNN, adding that he was talking about things like “being against abortion, being for limited government involvement, being for border security.”
“How can you still support somebody who they see as saying racist things against the Latino community?” CNN’s Nick Valencia asked.
“I disagree,” Baca fired back. “I really don’t think he’s said things that are racist.”
Baca later added, “We need to get our Hispanic brethren to quit voting Democrat simply because that’s what they have always voted.”
During the segment, CNN highlighted another Trump supporter: a Mexican immigrant who recently moved legally to the United States.
“Originally from Mexico, 29-year-old Blanca Binkley became a U.S. citizen just five years ago,” Valencia said. “She plans on voting for Trump again in 2020.”
“Oftentimes, when I’m asked, but why?” Binkley said. “Or, like, I feel like someone’s going to throw eggs at me or I’m going to be shunned from the Hispanic community, you know?”
— CNN (@CNN) December 26, 2019
Transcript of the CNN segment provided via CNN:
HILL: President Trump launched his 2016 campaign with an attack on immigrants from Mexico, saying Mexico isn’t sending their best and infamously calling Mexicans rapists.
Yet, as CNN’s Nick Valencia reports, one group of Hispanics near the border not only insists he is the candidate that’s most in line with their values; they’re also campaigning hard for his reelection.
RAY BACA, CHAIRMAN, BORDER HISPANICS FOR TRUMP: Are you a member of Borders Hispanics yet?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I’m not.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ray Baca has his work cut out for him. As the chair of the Border Hispanics for Trump, living in the Democratic stronghold of El Paso, his goal is to get Latinos to help reelect the president. But the odds are against him.
BACA: I’m with Border Hispanics for Trump. Are you? Have you heard of us?
VALENCIA: As the 65-year-old sees it, there are countless Latinos who support the president, but are afraid to admit it. He hopes to convince them that their values are more in line with the GOP and with Trump.
BACA: I look at President Trump as the one who most closely represents my values.
VALENCIA (on camera): People will hear that and say, values? You know, what values does the president have?
So, when you say that, what do you mean?
BACA: I mean supporting things that I support, like being against abortion, being for limited government involvement, being for border security.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Indeed, support for Trump in Texas among Latinos has remained steady at 30 percent, according to a recent CNN poll.
The unwavering support comes in the face of criticism over the president’s rhetoric on the Latino community, which his critics, at best, see as offensive and, at worst, racist.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best.
VALENCIA (on camera): How can you still support somebody who they see as saying racist things against the Latino community?
BACA: I disagree. I really don’t think he’s said things that are racist.
VALENCIA (voice-over): In August, 22 people were killed in a racist attack targeting Latinos at an El Paso Walmart. Baca says anyone who blames Trump because of his rhetoric and border policies is trying to make political hay of the shooting.
BACA: I just don’t think you can hold a president — or President Trump in particular — responsible for the actions of a single madman.
VALENCIA: Baca agrees with the president on most things, but not everything. Mainly, though he supports the idea of a wall, he questions the practicality of building one across the entire U.S.- Mexico border, a signature issue for Trump and his base.
BACA: I see him with his faults. I see him warts and all. I don’t want to spend $200 billion a wall, if you can do it for $50 million and solve the problem.
I’m Ray Baca.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I remember you, Ray.
BACA: Well, good to see you. Good to see you.
VALENCIA: Tonight, Baca’s pitch for Trump comes in an impromptu gathering of conservatives. But, even in a friendly crowd, it can be a hard sell.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will think about it. I will think about it. Thank you. Nice to meet you.
BACA: OK, thank you. Bye-bye.
Can’t win them all.
VALENCIA: But there are already some unlikely voters he doesn’t have to win over.
(on camera): President Trump was the first president that you voted for?
BLANCA BINKLEY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Originally from Mexico, 29-year-old Blanca Binkley became a U.S. citizen just five years ago. She plans on voting for Trump again in 2020.
BINKLEY: Oftentimes, when I’m asked, but why? Or, like, I feel like someone’s going to throw eggs at me or I’m going to be shunned from the Hispanic community, you know?
VALENCIA: Shunned by some, perhaps, but that’s what Ray Baca and Trump are counting on.
BACA: We need to get our Hispanic brethren to quit voting Democrat simply because that’s what they have always voted.
VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, El Paso, Texas.