Why did Donald Trump pass on a question and answer session with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce? It depends on which side you ask, as you’ll get two different (and decidedly heated) answers.
Trump said in an interview with CNN on Friday that he never actually agreed to meet with members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “This is the first time I’m hearing about this,” said Donald. “I mean, I never agreed.” What Trump meant, if you’re slightly confused, is that someone with the organization asked him to make an appearance. Donald Trump anticipated a set-up and declined.
“He wanted me to do an event because he probably can’t sell tickets without me. Why would anybody do an event when he’s a negative person?”
So it’s not so much that this is the first time Trump is hearing about an event; it’s the first hearing he was expected to make an appearance. At least, this is what he claims. Not surprisingly, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has an entirely different take on the Republican presidential candidate’s no-show.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 2, 2015
Chamber spokesman Ammar Campa-Najjar talked to the Associated Press about the meeting that Donald Trump passed on. Campa-Najjar said Trump was, “unwilling to abide by the terms and conditions” of the sessions. Apparently, this wasn’t a problem for other candidates — just Trump.
The spokesman did seem to agree with Trump that his decision to avoid making an appearance was strongly influenced by fears of being put on the spot.
“Trump’s decision to forfeit the Q&A session was motivated by the concern of being ‘put on trial.”
It’s not as though such concerns by Trump have no basis in reality. Donald’s presidential campaign has come under fire for questionable remarks he’s made about the United States’ immigration policies and about Latino Americans. His words caused him to be booted from the air by NBC. Later, Trump came into conflict with a Latino news reporter in a manner that seemed to exclusively revolve around the man’s ethnicity.
With a growing rift forming between himself and the Latino population, it’s possible that Trump felt he would be forced to answer questions related to things he’s said and controversies associated with his campaign. Threatened by the possibility of looking terrible, Trump may have agreed, but later decided it wasn’t an event that would work in his favor. For now, all we have are conflicting versions of events…and visible tension between the Trump campaign and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) October 2, 2015
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce spokesman did lob an intriguing accusation at Donald Trump over his decision to forgo appearing at the Q&A session. Allegedly, not only was Donald aware of the event, but Ammar told the Associated Press that Trump decided on October 8 as his “preferred date.” Javier Palomarez, the chamber’s president, later emailed the AP to add that Trump “got cold feet” at the last possible minute.
“Saying that Trump did not personally confirm to do the Q&A on October 8th is a lie, plain and simple. Clearly, someone got cold feet and couldn’t rise to the occasion.”
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce leader went on to claim the billionaire’s failure to appear was a classic “Trump tantrum,” one that “further disqualifies him as a serious candidate in the eyes of the Hispanic community.” The Donald Trump campaign fired back at Palomarez, accusing him of trying to “leverage the national media attention surrounding Mr. Trump to benefit his organization.”
Instead of appearing at the chamber of commerce’s event, Trump intends to speak in front of “a capacity crowd” during a Nevada engagement. Despite his notable conflict with members of the Latino population, Trump remains confident he can win enough votes from this group to take the White House.
A campaign statement on the controversy with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce insisted that Donald Trump is working hard to reach “out to the Hispanic community in more genuine and productive ways.”
[Image Credit: Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images]