By Santiago David Távara
Image credit: Lenin Nolly/ South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Democratic presidential hopefuls honed their attacks on President Donald Trump on a range of issues related to immigration, the economy, the prison system, arms control and racial divisions in their attempt to capture the Latino vote.
“We are treating human life, human dignity as if it were worth nothing,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker told Telemundo network journalist Jose Diaz Balart in a presentation on Tuesday, Sept. 10, sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI).
“There are literally kids in jail for doing things that two out of the last three presidents admitted to doing,” said a combative Booker regarding drug use. “It’s not just a matter of politics, it’s something personal,” the senator said, referring to living in a neighborhood in the United States.
About 20 Democratic pre-candidates are preparing for the primaries to decide on the candidate who will face President Trumpen in the 2020 elections, who is seeking re-election.
The three presidential candidates who participated in the interviews at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington included Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and Senator Cory Booker. The only Latino in the Democratic race, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro canceled at the last minute due to scheduling issues.
Senator Booker, like all other presidential hopefuls, denounced white supremacy, Trump’s Twitter messages that, as they argued, deepen race relations deepen, immigrant children and pregnant mothers incarcerated, and massacres from shootings due to the access to military weapons.
Senator Klobuchar talked about how many of the massacres involve white supremacists, such as the recent one in El Paso, Texas, which claimed the lives of 22 people, mostly Latinos.
“Immigrants don’t hurt America. They are the United States,” the senator said.
Buttigieg, 37, who speaks several languages, said the big solutions to the country’s problems “start from the cities”. He quoted the issuing of an identification card for the undocumented, so they can open an account or make any transaction as an example which could be used as a national model.
The favorites as of today for the Democratic nomination are former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, according to polls.
The 2020 election will be the first in which Latinos will be the largest racial or ethnic group in the electorate, with 13 percent of all voters registered to vote. Some 29 million Latinos were eligible to vote in 2018, compared to nearly 25 million in 2014.