WASHINGTON – United States President Donald Trump brandished his slogan of “law and order” on Monday to win over Latino voters in the key state of Arizona, by saying that if he loses the White House, America will resemble the “unsafe streets” many Hispanic immigrants fled.
During an event organized by his electoral campaign in Phoenix, Arizona, Trump trusted that the slogan that works for him among many of his white voters would also allow him to expand his support among Latinos, before whom he drew an apocalyptic panorama if Democrat candidate Joe Biden wins the November election.
“Many Hispanics came here to achieve the American dream. Many of their families, their fathers and mothers did so by leaving countries that did not have safe streets, that had many problems,” Trump told more than a hundred attendees.
“And if they let this continue, we would have the same (here). As I often say, we are not going to be another Venezuela,” he added.
The president said this after insisting that “law enforcement officers must be given the respect they deserve,” and criticizing that in cities governed by Democrats, such as New York and Chicago, “crime is through the roof.”
Since the first isolated riots in protests against racism and police violence in May, Trump has seen in the “law and order” speech a mine that can help him regain some of the popularity lost with his management of the pandemic.
The president has profiled the protesters as “anarchists” and “criminals,” without distinguishing between those who are peaceful and the minority that is involved in violent behavior, and has accused Biden of tolerating this, a message that works for him among white and conservative voters.
Although Trump lost the Latino vote by far in 2016, some polls have shown that Hispanics may be slightly more willing to support him than four years ago, and the president made it clear this weekend that he is betting on it, with acts specifically focused on Latinos in Nevada and Arizona.
In 2016, Trump won by 3.5 percentage points in Arizona, a state that no Democratic candidate has won since Bill Clinton in 1996, but the majority of the territory’s growing Latino population – which in this election could represent a quarter of voters – voted for Hillary Clinton.
Before a similar audience that mostly did not wear masks to prevent spreading COVID-19 despite it being mandatory, Trump completely avoided any mention of his controversial immigration policy.
He did not refer to the wall he is building on the border with Mexico either, preferring to be flattered by a dozen Latinos who accompanied him on stage.
“My Latinos, I love Latinos. It is a fantastic community. I will never disappoint you,” Trump said at the end of the rally.