Latina civil rights leader campaigns against Trump after 'year of hate'

Latina civil rights leader campaigns against Trump after 'year of hate'
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Latina civil rights icon Dolores Huerta is working to mobilize Latinos to keep Donald TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE out of the White House and criticizing GOPers for not denouncing the candidate who she said is now “the face of the Republican Party.”

Huerta joined with People for the American Way (PFAW) and former Miss Universe Alicia Machado to launch "Donald Trump's Year of Hate" on the anniversary of Trump's campaign announcement. The program seeks to reinforce the idea that Trump, with the complacency of the party, has harmed Latinos in the United States through his campaign rhetoric.


That rhetoric has waned Republican Party leaders' enthusiasm for the presumptive nominee in the past two weeks, following his racially tinted attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel and a heavily criticized response to the mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub that left 49 people dead, including many Latinos.

But Huerta, 86, told The Hill that although she's "always known racism exists," and she's never seen a major party candidate express it in such an "overt" way, Republicans are "not denouncing him."

Trump has been admonished by party leaders, including Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up MORE and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMaher goes after Manchin: 'Most powerful Republican in the Senate' Supreme Court confounding its partisan critics Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin MORE, and has even received words of warning from close allies like Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Nixon's former White House counsel: Trump DOJ was 'Nixon on stilts and steroids' Garland sparks anger with willingness to side with Trump MORE (R-Ala.), his point man on Capitol Hill.

Few Republicans have withdrawn their endorsements, however. 

PFAW, a progressive policy group, is using the disarray in the GOP to hit conservatives while they're down, working off Huerta's argument that Trump is the true expression of Republican ideals, if somewhat more boisterous than professional politicians would normally allow.

PFAW realeased Spanish-language ads in eight states, warning that Trump would lead the country "down, down, down to a dark place where intolerance, racism, and hate rule."

"He’s going to continue to step on the little guy," said Lizet Ocampo, director of PFAW’s Latinos Vote Program "The GOP is giving [Trump] space to pivot. They should be pressuring him."

Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, warns the left could be overplaying its hand. 

"The best way for Democrats to win is to keep Republicans divided," O'Connell said. "If you tie the top to Trump and slam everyone, they may unite to win."

Israel Ortega, a conservative writer for Opportunity Lives said he believes Huerta is relying on "selective memory" to brand all Republicans together. 

"To suggest that Donald Trump is representative of the entire party is disingenuous," Ortega said. "A lot of Republicans have done a great job reaching out to the Hispanic community." 

Huerta says her short-term goal is "to make sure Donald Trump doesn't get elected as president of the United States of America."

O'Connell said the election results aren't in Democrats' hands, but rather will be determined by Trump's and "the way the wind blows."

To win, O'Connell said, Trump must talk about just two things: "what he’s going to do to improve the lives of all Americans and why Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE is not qualified to be president."

But for Republicans, O'Connell said, the question is "can Trump keep the car between the two white lines?"

Ortega said down-ballot Republicans can succeed in the election without their presumptive nominee. Evangelical Hispanics, he argues, are more and more concerned with who will fill the Supreme Court vacancy and its potential to direct judicial action on social issues for generations. 

"The GOP is not going to walk into the election, and even the convention, unified," Ortega said. "Anything is possible, but I’d be surprised if [Trump] is able to crack the 28 percent of four years ago," referring to the percentage of Latino vote garnered by Mitt Romney in 2012.

Huerta, meanwhile, will "organize, organize, organize," and make sure "we get people registered to vote, prepared, educated," because she has two words she wants to say to Trump: "You're fired."