Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE's campaign for the presidency is unlike any other in modern American history. The business mogul turned politician not only has tangled with conservative Fox News, he actually picked a fight with the Spanish language giant Univision.
While you'd think these dust ups were a sign of a desperate candidate, they weren't. At the same time they were happening, Trump was lapping his GOP rivals in the polls.
Four months ago, TV talk show host Bill O'Reilly and nationally syndicated columnists Charles Krauthammer and George Will publicly challenged Trump's attacks on the 14th Amendment and his call for deporting 11 million illegal immigrants.
I think Krauthammer said it best when he wrote this about the deportations: "It will take 20 years and $500 billion." Who's got the time for that or the money? Uncharacteristically, Trump was silent about both numbers.
In August, when he was confronted during a press conference by anchor Jorge Ramos of Univision, Trump had him tossed out of the room. He later relented and allowed Ramos back in.
More recently, Trump refused to meet with the national Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Republicans know they can't win the White House without Hispanic support. This week's Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey shows 80 percent of Latinos “hold negative views of Donald Trump -- including 59 percent who say they have a ‘very negative’ impression of him." That’s compared to 55 percent of U.S. residents and just 28 percent of Republicans who view Trump negatively.
These latest numbers are higher than what last month's MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll revealed. Virtually two-thirds of Latinos surveyed -- 65 percent -- said Trump was hurting the image of the Republican Party, while just 13 percent said he was helping the party.
If these results aren't damaging enough, consider what some conservative Hispanic activists said just before the third GOP presidential debates in Colorado:
"We believe that if Donald Trump is the GOP nominee, none of us will support him, none of us will help him engage the Hispanic community," Alfonso Aguilar, director of American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership, told The Hill newspaper.
"Yes, we are ostracizing him," he added.
“Heed our warning: Don’t expect us to come to your side during the general election. If you are not with us now, we will not be with you then," former Treasury Secretary Rosario Marin, an official in the George W. Bush administration, said during a press conference a day before the debate.
Clearly, dissing Jorge Ramos or refusing to meet with the Hispanic Chamber haven't helped Trump with Latino voters, nor have they helped his party coast to coast. Say what you want about the Trump phenomenon, there is one thing The Donald doesn't ever want to hear: That's "Adios, Senor Trump."
Freidenrich writes from Laguna Beach, California. He served as a congressional staff assistant on Capitol Hill in 1972.