The Director of Regional Communications for the Trump Campaign, Rick Gorka, told an Arizona radio station Thursday — the day the campaign held a “Latinos for Trump and Trump Victory Leadership Initiative” event in Phoenix — that he believes Hispanic voters will be critical in helping President Donald Trump win re-election in 2020.
I met with Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, in Washington D.C. this week to discuss her state’s potential role in the development of new space-based initiatives. She agrees with Gorka's assessment -- so much so she has agreed to co-chair a new group, Latinos for Trump, an initiative Vice President Mike Pence announced in June during an appearance in Miami.
Nuñez, a striking and confident woman, as well as a capable legislator, whose parents immigrated from Cuba in the 60s, told Townhall that the only people surprised at the growing groundswell of support for Trump among the Latino community are the ones who haven’t been paying attention. She said the Trump administration’s record of achievement as it relates to that community has, so far, been impressive. Latino voters have noticed.
“If you look at the Trump administration’s record of achievements, what you see is a renewed focus on jobs and opportunities for everyone, and that includes Latinos,” Nuñez said Wednesday from the House committee room on Science, Space, and Technology, in between meetings at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. “This has led to the lowest unemployment rate for Latinos, a rise in homeownership, and tax cuts that are putting dollars back into the pockets of hard-working Latinos.”
“The record…speaks to a really positive outcome that gives Latinos the opportunity to live the American dream, and that is really what they cherish the most,” she added.
Nuñez, who served in Florida’s state legislature and worked a great deal on equity issues in the educational space, was picked by new Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to help him achieve an agenda that, she says, places an emphasis on education. Specifically, she says, DeSantis is seeking to make Florida schools number one in the nation in the career and technical fields by 2030. Linking that initiative to renewed interest in space exploration in both the public and private sector, and the development of a federal Space Force, is part of that agenda.
Nuñez says she’s very proud of how Florida state schools are climbing in the national rankings and she’s hoping to identify workforce needs associated with new federal and private space initiatives to make the state attractive to businesses attached to those initiatives.
And while she stresses that increasing the focus on STEM degrees for Florida students and lobbying for Space Force to consider building a command center in Florida isn’t just about helping one demographic group, she does take great pride in the fact that her own alma mater, Florida International University, graduates more Hispanic students than any other in the country.
This is why Nuñez is a very good choice to help chair a group that, she says, has a number one goal of increasing the Latino vote for Trump by getting the message out that he has helped — and will continue to help — the Latino community.
“Sometimes our friends in the media don’t like to talk about the facts,” she says with a laugh. “It’s our job to share those facts, and to share them early and often.”
But it’s even more than that, she says. Florida is home to many Cuban, Venezuelan, and Nicaraguan ex-pats, who have fled the tyranny of socialism in their own homes and have no wish to live through it again.
“When you look at the Democratic field, some of the policies they espouse, it’s very troubling to me,” Nuñez says, referring to the outright admiration for socialist policies coming from the Democratic left.
“The Latino community is very sensitive to some of those policy positions they’ve taken; I don’t think these candidates are pandering to their base,” she adds. “I think they really believe these positions. And if it looks like socialism, it is socialism. There seems to be a lack of sensitivity to what these individuals have endured, and many are American citizens who have lived here now for years. That lack of sensitivity, lack of depth of understanding, to what thousands, hundreds of thousands, have lived through. The tyranny, the economic failure...it’s callous and it’s irresponsible. For Democrats, it’s become vogue to be a socialist and I think it’s shameful.”