RNC Director of Hispanic Communications Helen Aguirre-Ferré spoke with Townhall about the new campaign and why Donald Trump should be a much more attractive candidate to Hispanics than Hillary Clinton.
Clinton's supposed strength of being the "most qualified" candidate is actually her biggest weakness, the RNC director explained.
"To the contrary," Aguirre-Ferré said. "She ignored Boko Haram, she advocated for the policies in Libya that led to the country in a huge vacuum. There’s no question about it that because of that vacuum that’s left in Libya and the continued destabilization of the Middle East. You have the rise of ISIS that President Obama said was a 'jayvee team.' Well it doesn’t look pretty jayvee anymore.”
"Her experience is definitely her weakness," Aguirre-Ferré emphasized. "Had she been a member in the private sector she would’ve been fired long ago."
Yet, while the RNC may successfully convince Hispanics not to vote for Clinton because of her foreign policy failures, convincing them to vote for Trump may be a bigger challenge, considering he began his campaign with that controversial statement about illegal immigrants.
"I don’t like the kind of tone and rhetoric and I don’t agree with the characterization of the initial declaration Mr. Trump had made," Aguirre-Ferré noted.
Yet, the RNC leader said Trump has toned it down since his inaugural speech.
"You see very clearly that in speaking about the importance of the Hispanic community he has changed the tone considerably. I would say to those who can’t support Mr. Trump based on that if you’re offended by what he said, how about being offended by what Hillary Clinton has done?"
Clinton, she explained, has supported a border fence in the past and "now she hides from it."
Furthermore, she’s "flip flopped on just about every issue that has to do with immigration reform.".
"She’s totally flip flopped on returning undocumented minors from Central America just a couple of years ago. Instead of really working for immigration reform in a bipartisan fashion as all major legislation should be, she’s already talking about continuing executive overreach in the White House should she become president. So clearly the Constitution is of no importance to her."
Had Clinton truly wanted to work to solve a problem that is personal to many Hispanics, she would’ve done it long ago.
"She’s certainly not talking about doing it in the future," Aguirre-Ferré said. "When she tells Hispanics, 'I’m going to have immigration reform on my desk in the first 100 days,' no one’s clapping. Everyone knows she’s just pandering."
It's up to Trump and the Republican Party to expose her all-talk-no-action record.
"He’s going to be reaching out and speaking directly to the community," the director explained.
"I think Mr. Trump acknowledges that and he’s going to be having meetings with Hispanic leaders in the near future where he’s going to open up for conversation...One of the things we aim to do is to talk to voters directly, go to where they work and where they live and where they pray and reach out to them directly."
Going forward, the RNC plans to build on the successes of the 2014 elections. In the year leading up to the midterms, the party engaged in a very aggressive grassroots campaign. They are keeping the infrastructure in place and one advantage this go around is that the Hispanic community is younger than it was before. The average age is 19-20 years old and increasingly bilingual, according to Pew, meaning GOP activists are able to have greater community outreach and provide information in both English and Spanish.
Aguirre-Ferré said she's really hopeful about this November.
"There’s a good number of Hispanics who still remain undecided and are persuadable," she explained. "They don’t like or trust Hillary Clinton."
"They’re open to being persuaded," she added. "At the end of the day, Hispanics want their families to be safe and happy and able to share on a level playing field the prosperity that others are enjoying."