News and Commentary

Hillary Backer Gets Schooled with Actual Facts During Contentious CNN Segment

Appearing on Anderson Cooper 360, A.J. Delgado, one of the Trump campaign’s senior advisors, laid into Democratic Political Strategist Maria Cardona about Hillary Clinton’s support for the Latino community.

Delgado started the fight by serving up some relevant factoids:

“I do give her credit though for addressing the Latino community. You have to have a lot of nerve to do that when some years ago, she’s on tape saying that she is ‘adamantly opposed to illegal immigrants.’ Not to illegal immigration, to the immigrants themselves. So I find it funny she has the nerve to address us. I’ll give her credit.

I also find it quite ironic that she brought up Cesar Chavez…because Cesar Chavez’s policy–and he’s a great Latino icon, and a legend among our community–was very much in line with Donald Trump’s. He used to patrol the border to keep illegal immigrants out. Why? Because he believed, like Donald Trump, in helping the Latino-Americans who are in the U.S.”

Maria Cardona was not pleased.

She responded by talking about how much Hillary Clinton has done for the Hispanic community, like how in the 1970s, “she was out registering Latino voters…way before it was cool to register Latino voters.”

Cardona added:

“She fought for our families, for our children, for immigrants–legal and undocumented.”

Delgado interrupted Cardona and asked her to “name one way” in which Clinton has helped the Latino community.

Cardona didn’t bite. Rather, she continued offering broad, blanket statements about Clinton:

“…it is Hillary Clinton, her policies, her commitment to our community, and to Americans of all communities. The one that will raise them up; the one that will lift them up, instead of trying to divide them with fear, and divisive rhetoric, and hatred, and vitriol, and bigotry.”

Guest host John Berman stopped Cardona, and asked Delgado for a response. Delgado ripped into Cardona, saying “You’ll notice Maria didn’t say a single thing other than–what was it, Maria? Registering voters as she did decades ago? You can’t name a single thing that Hillary Clinton has ever done for the Latino community.”

Cardona hit back:

“There’s a reason that Hillary Clinton is in the high-70s of approval with the Latino community…it is because Hillary Clinton has fought for healthcare, she gave our kids healthcare, she fought for Obamacare. She fought to make sure that everybody in our community is lifted up with real jobs, with growing wages. She has fought for equality of education…”

Let’s do some fact-checking:

1. Clinton did say she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants”

In 2003, on the John Grambling radio show, Clinton said:

“We’ve got to do several things, and I am, you know, adamantly opposed to illegal immigrants…we’ve got to do more at our borders, and people have to stop employing illegal immigrants.”

2. Cesar Chavez was adamantly opposed to illegal immigration, and did march along the border

Chavez was a staunch opponent of illegal immigration mainly because it hurt workers’ unions, which he championed. In a 1972 interview, Chavez said:

“As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes as strikes are won normally by other unions with the employer.”

In 1969, Chavez marched to the United States/Mexico border with Walter Mondale and others to protest the use of illegal immigrants as “strikebreakers.”

In 1973/1974, Chavez and his cousin Manuel also helped establish a “100-mile-long ‘wet line’ of military-style tents” in order to stop illegal immigrants from crossing the border, according to The New York Times. Chavez spoke of it, saying that “it cost us a lot of money, and we stopped a lot of illegals.”

3. Hillary has said she would help illegal immigrants

Clinton’s statements over the past several years show that she is a proponent of “comprehensive immigration reform,” a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and extending Obamacare to illegal immigrant minors.

In December 2015, Clinton said she would “defend President Obama’s executive actions on DACA and DAPA when I become president.” DACA stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” and DAPA stands for “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.”

That said, she has also flip-flopped big time on deporting illegal minors, as The Daily Beast reported.

4. Hillary isn’t in the high-70s among Latinos

According to a Gallup poll released on August 26, Clinton has an overall favorability among Hispanics of 65%. When broken down into Hispanics born in the United States versus Hispanic immigrants, the numbers are drastically different at 43% and 87% respectively.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll published August 31 has Clinton’s favorability among Hispanics at 55%, down 16% from early August.

A Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll released September 5 shows that 41.1% of Hispanics have a “very favorable,” or “somewhat favorable” view of Hillary Clinton.

Perhaps different polls are showing Clinton in the “high-70s,” however, looking at Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, and Franklin Pierce/Boston Herald, Hispanic immigrants are the only Latino group with which the former Secretary of State does exceedingly well.

Bottom Line:

All of what A.J. Delgado said is all easily verifiable. Some of it could be called slightly hyperbolic–but not much.

Some of what Maria Cardona said is also true, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. However, Cardona seems to be pulling facts from thin air with her assertion that Hillary Clinton is in the “high-70s” when it comes to Latino approval.

The rest of Cardona’s statements are too nebulous to fact-check, which just might be the point.