Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, who helped with Latino recruitment, said it was not a difficult pitch. More Hispanic candidates were galvanized to run by soaring inflation rates, a surge of migrants in heavily Latino border districts and a growing sense that Democrats were now the party of the educated elite, he said.
“It’s policy versus rhetoric. Democrats, one could argue, have done a very good job with their rhetoric, but their policies have been disastrous, and so they’ve been particularly disastrous for the working class,” Mr. Diaz-Balart said. “Was Trump’s rhetoric the words that may be ideal to get Latino voters? No, however the policies were.”
Mr. Donalds had an analogous assessment of the Trump legacy, insisting that the previous president was not a racist and adding, “The query is admittedly silly at this point.”
“Republicans now are much more open and much more direct about talking to each voter, not only Republican voters, quote, unquote,” he said. “I believe that that’s what’s given the impetus for people to determine to run.”
That and a variety of pushing. Mr. Emmer spoke of meeting a trade expert who worked for Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona two years ago, then telling Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, to steer Juan Ciscomani to run.
Mr. Ciscomani recalled talking over the chance along with his wife and Mr. Ducey twice before, in 2018 and 2020, before backing away. Within the spring of 2021, the one-two push from Mr. Emmer and Mr. McCarthy sealed the deal.
“Democrats have taken the Hispanic vote with no consideration,” he said. “They pandered to the Hispanic community, saying what they desired to hear and doing nothing about it.” He added: “But Republicans never made an effort. They never tried to get their votes.”