Washington: US President Donald Trump returned to New Mexico for a wide-ranging campaign rally, courting Hispanic voters in a state he lost in 2016, and said that his Hispanic Advisory Council member Steve Cortes looked “more like a WASP than I do”.
Speaking about Cortes on Monday night, Trump said: “He happens to be Hispanic, but I’ve never quite figured it out because he looks more like a WASP than I do.”
WASP stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
The President went on to say that there was nobody who “loves his country more or Hispanics more” more than Cortes and, bizarrely, asked him during the rally who he likes more, media reports said.
“He says the country. I don’t know,” Trump said. “I may have to go with the Hispanics, to be honest with you. We’ve got a lot of Hispanics.”
Cortes has been a paid commentator on CNN, but Trump has accused the network of silencing Cortes for supporting him.
Cortes “was on CNN and they didn’t like him because he was too positive on Trump, can you believe it?” Trump said at his rally.
Trump has previously reportedly criticized CNN for lacking commentators who support him. “CNN is 100%, they would never, in fact, they just fired Steve Cortes, a phenomenal guy,” he said in a radio interview in August, according to the Washington Examiner.
But Cortes is still on CNN’s payroll, according to reports.
In an op-ed published last week in the Florida Daily, Cortes wrote that “Hispanic-Americans have benefited greatly, with our unemployment rate currently sitting at an all-time low”.
“The mainstream media are still hoping for a Hispanic backlash against Trump in 2020 but given the President’s impressive record of accomplishments, especially when it comes to the booming economy, it’s more likely that President Trump will actually receive a boost from Hispanic voters as he pursues re-election,” Cortes wrote.
Trump also said that Hispanic voters in New Mexico understand his push for a border wall better than others.
“At the whole centre of this crisis is the drugs that are pouring in and you understand that when other people don’t understand it.”