Hispanic Democrats railed against Republican vice presidential nominee Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceBiden leading Trump, DeSantis by similar margins in new poll Best path to Jan. 6 accountability: A civil suit against Trump Biden trails generic Republican in new poll, would face tight race against Trump MORE on Wednesday, criticizing his comments about Democrat Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Manchin, Sinema join GOP to sink filibuster change for voting bill Desperate Dems signal support for cutting Biden bill down in size MORE again whipping out “that Mexican thing” to criticize Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE.
Pence's comment has been a focus of attention after Tuesday's debate in Farmvill, Va., spawning the hashtag #thatMexicanthing on social media.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Calif.) said the comment was disrespectful and “really shows overall how neglectful they are of the needs of the Latino community.”
Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairwoman, warned it would come back to haunt the Pence-Trump GOP ticket.
“I have a message: That Mexican thing is going to come back to bite you,” she said.
Pence made the remark late in the debate after Kaine brought up comments Trump made during the speech announcing his presidential bid in which he said Mexico was sending “rapists” and criminals to the United States, as well as some who he assumed “are good people."
“Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again,” replied Pence.
Gallego said the Republican ticket's comments show a specific disrespect for the Latino community.
“We would not allow a presidential candidate to say 'that black thing' or 'that woman thing,’ ” he said.
In a separate call, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said the comments were directed against all Latinos, not just Mexicans.
“When Donald Trump says Mexicans are rapists, Puerto Ricans understand he means us too.”
At the debate, Pence pivoted away from Kaine's line of attack, focusing on criminals who are undocumented immigrants.
“There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally who are perpetrating violence and taking American lives,” said Pence, adding, “He also said and many of them are good people. You keep leaving that out of your quote.”