Jorge Ramos lets out a small laugh when I ask him what he thought of Donald Trump’s promise to deport “bad hombres” during Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate. But the Univision anchor and Fusion host doesn’t find anything about the Republican presidential nominee particularly funny.
Ramos, whose new documentary special Hate Rising explores how the “Trump effect” has spurred a rise of hate crimes and white nationalist groups in America, is feeling more confident than ever after last night’s debate that Trump will never reach the White House. But as he explains in the film, he fears the damage has already been done.
“Donald Trump did absolutely everything he needed to do last night to lose the Latino vote. Everything,” Ramos says. “He insulted immigrants again by calling them ‘bad hombres,’ he suggested that he wants to build a wall, he still wants to deport millions of immigrants.”
On the use of that Spanglish phrase, “bad hombres,” Ramos added, “He’s using a stereotype. And he’s absolutely wrong, because all of the studies that I’ve seen clearly conclude that immigrants are less likely to be criminals, or to be behind bars that those born in the United States. That’s a fact.” (He’s right.)
In Ramos’s view, Trump can’t ask for Latinos to vote for him in one breath and in the next say, “but I’m going to deport your neighbor, your father, or your brother.” Just this past weekend, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll shows that Trump is getting just 17% of the Latino vote. “With that, he cannot win the White House. It’s impossible,” Ramos says.
And he has the math on hand to back it up.
“Mitt Romney got 27 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012 and he lost,” he continues. “McCain got 31 percent in 2008 and lost, too. So with 17 percent it is impossible. The new rule in American politics is you cannot make it to the White House without the Latino vote. And clearly Donald Trump won’t be able to do that.”
As for the 17% of Latinos who apparently do support Trump, Ramos has a harsh assessment of where their loyalties lie. “I’ve met very few Latinos who are supporting Trump,” he says, “and those are the ones who don’t remember where they come from, or where their families come from.”
But like many Americans, it wasn’t Trump’s use of the words “bad hombres” that was most troubling for Ramos about Wednesday night’s debate. Instead, it was his refusal to say whether or not he will accept the results of the election, telling moderator Chris Wallace, “I’ll keep you in suspense.”
“I never expected to hear something like that in the United States,” Ramos says, noting that he has covered “rigged” elections in Latin America for decades. “I know what a rigged election is and what’s happening in the United States is not a rigged election,” he says. “It is just a candidate who is losing badly in the polls, who is using prejudice and biases to try to win and divide the country.”
Stay tuned for The Daily Beast’s full interview with Jorge Ramos about his new documentary Hate Rising, his 2015 confrontation with Donald Trump and more this weekend.