Former President Obama claimed on Wednesday that evangelical Latino voters chose President Trump over Joe Biden because Trump backs their views on abortion and gay marriage.
While Trump lost the 2020 election, he gained support among Latino voters according to exit polls and voting data in counties with large Hispanic populations. For example, in 93-percent Hispanic Zapata County in Texas, Trump won by six percentage points while Hillary Clinton carried the county in 2016 by 33 percentage points.
“People were surprised about a lot of Hispanic folks who voted for Trump,” Obama commented on the podcast The Breakfast Club. “But there are a lot of evangelical Hispanics.”
Obama continued, “The fact that Trump says racist things about Mexicans or…puts undocumented workers in cages—they think that’s less important than [that] he supports their views on gay marriage or abortion.”
The “cages” Obama refers to were in fact built during his administration, as chain-link enclosures meant to temporarily house illegal immigrants at border facilities.
Trump supported abortion rights before the 2016 campaign, but pivoted towards the pro-life movement and has courted the backing of pro-life organizations. However, it is not clear that Hispanic voters warmed to Trump in 2020 because of his social policy positions. The Trump campaign did not speak about marriage rights at all during the campaign and Cuban and Venezuelan Americans, for example, have widely cited the “socialist” leanings of some progressive Democrats to explain their support for Trump.
Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.), criticized Obama’s comments as “condescending.”
Ah yes, those Hispanic evangelicals. So backwards. Clinging to their guns and religion, you might say. Barack Obama still the most condescending corporate liberal in America https://t.co/IqUdbx5FB7
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 25, 2020
“Ah yes, those Hispanic evangelicals. So backwards. Clinging to their guns and religion, you might say,” Hawley wrote on Twitter. “Barack Obama still the most condescending corporate liberal in America.”