By Amy Tennery
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Thursday by tweeting a photo of himself with a taco bowl and the caption: "I love Hispanics," but the gesture was not to everyone's taste.
"Happy #CincoDeMayo!" tweeted Trump (@realDonaldTrump). "The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!"
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican defeat of the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
The posting angered, baffled or amused some social media users, including Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, Trump's likely opponent in the Nov. 8 election.
"'I love Hispanics!' —Trump, 52 minutes ago," Clinton (@HillaryClinton) tweeted. "'They’re gonna be deported.' —Trump, yesterday."
Trump has struggled to gain the support of Latino voters since launching his presidential campaign last year with comments accusing Mexico of sending rapists and drug runners across the U.S. border.
He has also vowed to deport all the illegal immigrants living in the United States and build a wall along the border with Mexico and have that country pay for it.
"Trump Tower Grill" began trending on the microblogging platform after Trump's tweet, as social media users weighed in on the post.
"Trump sources confirm that in fact, Mexico paid for the taco salad," tweeted Tom Watson (@tomwatson).
Others found the tweet offensive and argued it relied heavily on crude stereotyping.
"Now officially waiting for a photo of Trump eating some Church's Chicken (or Bojangles) with a thumbs up and a 'I love the blacks!' [caption]" tweeted Slate chief political correspondent Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie).
"Trump and matzah ball soup on Jewish New Year... You can count on it," tweeted Harry Enten (@ForecasterEnten).
(Additional reporting by Alana Wise in Washington and Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)