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Goya Foods CEO won't speak at third night of GOP convention, rep clarifies

Goya Foods CEO won't speak at third night of GOP convention, rep clarifies
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A representative for Goya Foods says the company’s CEO Robert Unanue will not be speaking during the third evening of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh had told reporters on a phone call Wednesday that Unanue would be among those making an appearance during Wednesday’s program, which is themed “Land of Heroes.”

However, Michael Estevez of Burson Cohn & Wolfe, a public relations firm representing Goya, subsequently told The Hill that Unanue would not be speaking at the RNC. The campaign did not respond to further questions about Unanue’s potential appearance during the program. Unanue was not named among the group of speakers issued by the campaign earlier Wednesday.

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Unanue made headlines in July when complimentary remarks he made about President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE at the White House prompted a boycott of Goya products.

Unanue appeared alongside the president at an event in the White House Rose Garden and said Americans were “blessed” to have a leader in Trump.

“We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” Unanue said. “And that's what my grandfather did: He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper.  And so we have an incredible builder, and we pray — we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”

The remarks inspired criticism from Hispanic leaders and calls for a boycott of Goya Foods on social media. Goya brands itself as the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States.

Trump and his advisers have responded by publicly expressing support for Goya and advocating for its products.

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Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump slams Facebook, Twitter for limiting spread of New York Post's Biden story OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative MORE, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, memorably posted a photo of herself on Twitter account posing with a can of Goya beans that included the company’s slogan: “If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno.” The message drew criticism, with some saying it amounted to an ethics violation.

Trump subsequently shared a photo on Instagram of himself with several Goya Food products in the Oval Office.

Updated: 2:50 p.m.