18:11 GMT23 November 2020
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    The Republican presidential candidates have long overlooked the fastest growing minority in the United States, Hispanics.

    But no one has done more to infuriate Latinos recently as real estate magnate Donald Trump, who hopes to win what amounts to America's most expensive popularity contest offering the most coveted prize.

    Trump, often criticized for being vain and mean-spirited, sparked outrage during his mid-June presidential announcement speech when he called immigrants, coming to the United States from Mexico, as well as Central and Southern American countries, drug dealers, criminals and rapists.

    "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best…. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people," Trump alleged.

    Many Republicans have been critical of the incendiary comments, with fellow GOP presidential hopeful Lindsey Graham comparing Trump to "a wrecking ball" for the Republican Party, which is trying to improve its image among minorities.

    "I think [Trump's] hijacked the debate," the South Carolina Senator told CNN. "I think he's a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican Party with the Hispanic community, and we need to push back."

    Brings Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" video to mind, doesn't it?

    "I'm very worried about where we're headed as a party. I don't think this is the way to get the Latino vote," Graham added. "If we do not reject this way of thinking clearly, without any ambiguity, we will have lost our way. If we don't reject it, we've lost the moral authority, in my view, to govern this country."

    It is quite safe to assume that a Republican candidate, who does not reject such a view on immigrants, has a slim chance to beat a Democratic contender in the national election. Yet Trump remains defiant and is apparently convinced that Hispanics will somehow fall under his spell.

    On Sunday, the real estate magnate defended his stance on immigration and the choice of words in an interview with the Washington Post. He told the newspaper it was OK to use the word "rapist" and blamed Democrats, as well as other unnamed enemies for blowing the comment out of proportion.

    Trump is also convinced that Latinos will vote for him no matter what. "And I'll also get the Hispanics, you watch," he said.

    The primaries let alone the national election are a long way off. But Trump has already felt the implications of his polarizing stance on immigration. Unimpressed with the insults, Trump's business partners including Spanish-language network Univision, NBC and Macy's, severed business ties with the billionaire.

    Plowed By The Peacock
    © Sputnik / Vitaly Podvitski
    Plowed By The Peacock

    Trump's provocative and somewhat insolent strategy is hurting his businesses but pays off in terms of politics, at least in the short term. In the crowded GOP field, the real estate magnate soared in the polls, according to latest surveys.


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    Hispanics, illegal immigrants, presidential election, immigrants, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Mexico, US, Latin America
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