Clinton's Campaign Is Reaching Out to Latino Community Leaders and USHCC Early
Latino business is getting a crack at some Presidential candidates early in the process, as Hillary Clinton is reportedly joining the pool of hopefuls planning to meet with members of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce soon.
The Clinton campaign reached out to USHCC President Javier Palomarez earlier last week, seeking to set up events where Clinton could meet with Latino business owners and community leaders. As we recently reported, Republican Texas Senator and GOP Presidential primary candidate Ted Cruz is planning to hold a Q&A with the group in late April in Washington, D.C.
However, unlike with Cruz last month, it appears the Clinton campaign is putting a high priority on reaching out to the Latino businesses right from the start.
According to BuzzFeed, Amanda Renteria -- the first Latina Chief of Staff in U.S. Senate history, who was officially tapped last week as Clinton's national political director -- spent the past week trying to get in touch with Palomarez to set up meetings with USHCC members.
Speaking with BuzzFeed about his contact with the campaign, Palomarez seemed impressed. "The conversation was early in the process to give guidance and direction," said Palomarez. "She said the campaign will be deliberately and openly engaging the Hispanic community."
And the Clinton campaign is reportedly focused on more than just the Latino community in states like Nevada, where the size of the Latino population poses an obvious electoral advantage for candidates who reach out; Clinton is also interested in speaking with Hispanic leaders in early primary states like New Hampshire and Iowa -- where the bottom-line political gain from such meetings is less apparent.
A Clinton campaign spokesperson commented on the move, writing, "Strengthening the Hispanic community is a top priority for Hillary, so her campaign began outreach on day one of the campaign."
In contrast, last month Senator Ted Cruz drew criticism from Palomarez for snubbing the USHCC's annual summit in Washington, D.C. -- an event that took place within days after Cruz officially launched his Presidential run on March 23.
At the meeting, Palomarez openly noted Cruz's absence, saying that he hoped it was not "indicative that he's backing away from the Hispanic community in order to get through the [GOP] primary."
Though the USHCC is nonpartisan, the business community generally tends to be receptive to Republican ideas, making the public absence of the first Hispanic Senator from Texas at the organization's national summit seem especially inopportune.
"If you're trying to get to the White House without openly trying to engage the Hispanic community, you're not going to get there," added Palomarez.
Seeking to make up for his absence in March, Cruz's campaign recently agreed on a public Q&A with Palomarez on April 29.
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