WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee met with Hispanic supporters of the real estate mogul’s campaign at Trump Tower Saturday.
The meeting with the National Hispanic Advisory Council came as Trump has struggled to attract minority voters, particularly Hispanics, and after a week in which he made major changes to his campaign leadership and struck a more conciliatory tone on the trail.
New campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and CEO Steve Bannon accompanied Trump. Among those in attendance were Colorado State Rep. Clarice Navarro-Ratzlaff, California businessman and longtime Republican Mario Rodriguez and Florida State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, who was in season 5 of the Trump-hosted “The Apprentice.”
The meeting began with Ramiro Pena, pastor and founder of Christ the King Baptist Church, leading the room in prayer before introductions, according to pool reports.
“The RNC joins the Trump campaign in recognizing the diverse group of Hispanic leaders who are generously giving of their time and talent to be a part of the National Hispanic Advisory Council for Trump,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
The RNC’s statement said the meeting would involve a discussion with Hispanic leaders about ways to ensure the Hispanic community “understands Mr. Trump’s proposals.”
The members of the council announced so far include several pastors and Republican state representatives from 12 different states.
The Republican nominee has earned the ire of many Hispanics due in part to his comments about Mexican people and undocumented immigrants. A new Fox News Latino poll released earlier this month found him trailing Hillary Clinton by 46 points, 66% to 20%, among registered Latino voters.
Among his signature policy proposals is the construction of a border wall along the US-Mexican border, which he has said Mexico will pay for. He has also called for the deportation of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from the country and said a judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University is unfit for the job because he is of Mexican heritage.
Trump’s campaign underwent a significant restructuring earlier this week, as he installed Conway and Bannon in their respective roles, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned. On Thursday, Trump expressed regret in his most direct way yet as a presidential candidate, acknowledging that some statements he’s made have hurt others — though he did not point to any specific remarks.
Meanwhile, Trump over the past few days has reached out to African-American voters, asking them, “what do you have to lose?” by voting for him over Clinton.