The Mexican president tells Hispanics in Florida: Do not give DeSantis ‘one vote’

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday called on Hispanics in Florida to vote against Governor Ron DeSantis (R), who launched his 2024 White House bid the day before, due to their immigration policies.

“Hopefully the Hispanics in Florida wake up and don’t give him a single vote, so as not to vote for those who persecute migrants, those who don’t respect migrants,” López Obrador said.

Speaking at his hour-long daily press conference, López Obrador addressed DeSantis’s political future, saying the governor had “discovered himself,” using Mexican political jargon for a candidate announcement and taking credit for predicting the presidential race. from DeSantis.

“As you can see, I was not mistaken in that all his politicking about migrants was because he wanted to be the candidate of the Republican Party,” López Obrador said.

In his press conference on Wednesday, López Obrador had complained about the policies behind border security and immigration in the United States.

“We have to be thinking about this unfortunate phenomenon of necessary migration being used for political purposes in the United States,” he said, responding to a question from The Hill.

“The governor of Texas, on the campaign trail, [saying] will militarize the border and will continue to build [the] Wall; and the governor of Florida, the same, because he wants to be the candidate of the Republican Party and he is doing politicking ”.

DeSantis has leaned increasingly into the immigration and border security debate, despite the distance between Florida and the US-Mexico border.

The now Republican Party presidential candidate caused a sensation in September when a Florida government-chartered flight picked up nearly 50 immigrants from Texas and took them to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Under DeSantis, Florida has also sent police aid to Texas.

The Hill has reached out to DeSantis’ office for comment.

López Obrador’s plea for Florida’s Hispanics to “wake up” comes as voters in the state, including Latinos, are increasingly leaning Republican.

Last year, 58 percent of the state’s Hispanic voters leaned toward DeSantis in his re-election campaign, according to CNN exit poll data analyzed by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.

Based on that analysis, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) lost the demographic by two percentage points in the 2006 election, but won it by a 15-point margin in the 2022 election.

Rubio won over 67 percent of Hispanics of Cuban heritage and 51 percent of those without Cuban heritage.

He also won majorities among men and women and among all age groups except voters ages 18 to 29, 56 percent of whom voted for his challenger, former Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.).

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