The cruelest campaign: Republicans in Hispanic districts
GOP House members in Latino-heavy House districts have an extra burden running with Trump as the nominee — whether they back him or not. By RACHAEL BADE
MIAMI — It was a rare feel-good moment in a vicious campaign: Flanked by House Speaker Paul Ryan in an elementary school this week, freshman GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo promoted a pet program to help children of immigrants in his Hispanic-heavy district learn English.
But across town at that very moment, Curbelo’s Democratic opponent was staging a protest timed to Ryan’s visit. The message from former Rep. Joe Garcia: A vote for Curbelo is worse than a vote for Donald Trump. No matter that the freshman Republican has opposed Trump all year long.
When it comes to House Democrats’ ongoing quest to hitch Trump’s offensive comments to vulnerable GOP incumbents, Republicans representing districts with large Latino populations are feeling the most heat. Their nominee has called illegal immigrants “rapists,“ “criminals” — and, at the last debate, “bad hombres.” Not to mention Trump’s calls for forced deportation and a towering border wall.
Democrats are sparing no effort or expense on the strategy. Their success, particularly in places like Florida’s 26th district, where three of every four residents are Latino, could go a long way in deciding whether Democrats can pull off a once-unthinkable takeover of the House.
“While Trump may say outrageous things, my opponent votes for them,” Garcia told POLITICO in an interview, summarizing his plea to oust Curbelo. “His record is worse than Donald Trump’s.”
Read more here