President Trump sought to appeal to Hispanic voters with a New Mexico rally Monday, though an oddly-phrased question directed at one of his supporters may have somewhat undermined that goal.
Trump at one point during his rally singled out Steve Cortes, an author and member of his Hispanic Advisory Council who has appeared on cable news in support of the president. He "happens to be Hispanic, but I've never quite figured it out, because he looks more like a WASP than I do," Trump said of Cortes.
The president declared that there's "nobody that loves this country more or Hispanics more" than Cortes, who was at the rally and who Trump then directly asked, "Who do you like more, the country or the Hispanics?" From off stage, Cortes apparently responded with the former, to which Trump responded, "I don't know, I may have to go with the Hispanics."
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) was among those to push back on this distinction from Trump, tweeting in response, "I don't even know where to begin with that question. Hispanics are proud Americans. We are part of this country, just like you @realdonaldtrump. Do better."
Trump lost New Mexico by eight percentage points in 2016, and Axios reports his net approval rating there has dropped from +17 at the beginning of his presidency to -13 in July. Brendan Morrow
President Trump asks his supporter Steve Cortes in the middle of the rally: "Who do you like more, the country or the hispanics? He says the country, I dont know. I may have to go with the hispanics to be honest with you. we've got a lot of hispanics." pic.twitter.com/cuFg0hF9qf