Former President Barack Obama is making the rounds again with a fresh batch of divisive claims.
This time, he is accusing Hispanic voters who cast their ballots for President Donald Trump of overlooking his racist behavior because he supports their socially conservative and religious values, as reported by Fox News.
“They think that’s less important”
Obama’s remarks on Wednesday led to the latest backlash from critics who find his rhetoric offensive.
To be sure, Trump’s strength among Hispanic voters came as a surprise to many pundits, especially after the Democratic Party spent years attempting to paint the president as a racist and xenophobe. In Florida and Texas, for example, he won 32% of the Hispanic vote overall, compared to just 28% in 2016.
As a guest on The Breakfast Club radio show, Obama provided his take on the root cause for that shift.
“People were surprised about a lot of Hispanic folks who voted for Trump, but there’s a lot of evangelical Hispanics who, the fact that Trump says racist things about Mexicans, or puts undocumented workers in cages, they think that’s less important than the fact that he supports their views on gay marriage or abortion,” the former president argued, according to Fox.
Almost immediately, critics reacted with claims that the former president was channeling the same dismissive views that led him to write off many rural conservatives ahead of the 2008 election.
“Law and order was a top priority”
As for the substance of Obama’s remarks, Trump never made gay marriage much of an issue and received nearly 30% of the nation’s LGBT vote, according to the BBC.
The true reason for Trump’s strong showing among Hispanic voters is tied to the president’s messaging on socialism, law and order, and other issues important to their community, the Trump campaign asserted.
In a statement to National Review, the campaign’s director of rapid response for Spanish media cited the president’s “strong border policies and measures to combat poverty” as especially popular among Hispanic voters in states like Texas and Arizona.
“Meanwhile, law and order was a top priority in areas with large Puerto Rican communities, such as Orlando and Philadelphia,” Giancarlo Sopo continued.
For his part, Obama did, however, display some level of introspection, acknowledging that liberals living in predominantly Democratic cities often lack “a good enough sense of how big this country is and how a lot of folks do not accept at all” their leftist views.