In an abrupt about-face from the Republican Party’s pattern of outreach to Latino voters, on last night’s All in with Chris Hayes, Latinos for Trump founder Marco Gutierrez warned that without Donald Trump in the White House, there would be “taco trucks on every corner.”
The internet reacted to this doomsday prophecy with appropriate levels of puzzlement. It seemed to be the kind of vision that would, in fact, make America great again.
This was yet another moment when the Trump campaign’s ragtag band of surrogates and supporters veered seriously off-message and the party line. Remember the “Taco Mayor” of East Haven, Connecticut, Republican Joseph Maturo, Jr., who responded, “I might have tacos when I go home” to a reporter who asked him, “What are you doing for the Latino community today?” Considering that the interview took place after federal officials had arrested a “cancerous cadre” of police officers charged with terrorizing Latinos who entered the town, Maturo might have chosen to say something more relevant to the matter at hand. But instead, without missing a beat, he picked the taco.
And who can forget that the very candidate that Gutierrez was stumping for had also chosen the taco bowl as his olive branch of choice to demonstrate his love for Latinos. Trump’s “I love Hispanics” tweet on Cinco de Mayo was also lambasted and ridiculed, but it also revealed a consistent strain within the Republican Party’s brand of minority outreach: non-white constituents = food.
Now divested of its single point of connection to the Latino community, the Trump campaign will have to correct course–either restoring tacos to their monopoly position within its Latino outreach repertoire, or find another dish equally as compelling. The burrito? The quesadilla? Unfortunately, none have quite the appeal, the simple satisfaction, offered by the taco. Future opponents might do well to take the threat of “taco trucks on every corner” and run with it.