Hispanic Republican leaders warn Donald Trump, other candidates to change their rhetoric

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A group of prominent Hispanic conservative activists shared some advice with the GOP presidential field on Tuesday: If you want to see a Republican in the White House again, move away from Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration.

"Heed our warning: Don't expect us to come to your side during the general election," said Rosario Marin, U.S. Treasurer under President George W. Bush. "If you are not with us now, we won't be with you then. If you insult us now, we will be deaf to you then. If you take us for granted now, we will not recognize you then." About two dozen activists, elected officials, and small-business owners gathered in Boulder, Colorado, for an event organized by American Principles Project's Latino Partnership, MSNBC reports. The group says they are receptive to hearing "constructive solutions" on border security and immigration, but they are still waiting to hear ideas from the candidates. They also said they are not endorsing any one candidate, but they are united in opposing Trump.

Marin didn't come out and name Trump, instead calling him a "wannabe politician" who hurls "nonstop vitriolic insults," adding: "Foolishly, some candidates think they don't need the Hispanic vote in the primary, so they pander to the voters with extreme views instead of just showing us who they are." Trump has said he would deport all undocumented immigrants in the United States and would have Mexico pay for a border fence, and the activists argue there is no way Trump, or anyone who embraces his rhetoric or policies, will win the general election. His candidacy "needs to be canceled like his last reality TV program," said Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.