July 2, 2015

Trump, Martinez on Spanish speaking in NM

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Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc

The governor of New Mexico and a Republican presidential candidate each weighed in on how speaking Spanish would impact job prospects in New Mexico.

Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc

Donald Trump speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via cc

The Albuquerque Journal wrote about the needs for qualified bilingual workers, especially as New Mexico becomes a bigger target for call center companies.

Martinez said how “border spanish” wasn’t necessarily useful when seeking jobs. From the Journal:

“Border Spanish” was the descriptive term Martinez used, recounting her own experience in losing what was her first language as a child to institutional prejudices at parochial school and pressure from her parents to assimilate into the mainstream English-speaking culture.

The unschooled Spanish spoken by many bilingual residents, often passed down from generation to generation, evidently lacks the sophisticated fluency needed in an increasingly international business world, particularly in terms of call center work.

Donald Trump is campaigning for president in between losing broadcasters, jobs and business partnerships. These come after calling Mexicans who cross the border drug-traffickers and rapists. He has defended those comments.

Trump is also one of the top choices of Republicans according to polls.

However, in a piece for The New Republic—a progressive magazine—about one of Trump’s largest supporters, New Mexico and speaking Spanish make a cameo.

After he spoke, Trump tried to get out of answering questions by arguing that pop stars ruin killer concerts with lame encores. But he took a few anyway, though did not pretend to enjoy it. A woman complained that her mother couldn’t get a job in New Mexico because she didn’t speak Spanish. After a few moments lamely suggesting that was a bummer, Trump shrugged: “Learn Spanish?” After the final question, he exited through the house and into a black SUV, waving at his adoring fans.

Martinez on Wednesday denounced Trump’s comments about Mexicans during a press conference.

After a news conference Wednesday on new state laws aimed at protecting abused children, the nation’s only Latina governor said she strongly disagreed with Trump’s comments that have drawn criticism across the country. Macy’s, for example, said in a statement the retailer is disappointed and distressed by Trump’s remarks and it would no longer carry a Trump menswear line.

“I think those are horrible things to say about anyone or any culture … anyone of any ethnicity,” said Martinez, a Republican. “I mean, that is uncalled for … completely.”

It isn’t the first time Martinez—who is increasingly becoming a national political figure—criticized a Republican presidential nominee’s statement. Martinez criticized Republican nominee Mitt Romney during the 2008 general election for his “47 percent” statement.

Martinez has largely stayed out of presidential politics.

New Mexico doesn’t hold an early primary and the nomination has been largely wrapped up in past primaries. In the 2012 Republican presidential primary, Martinez did not endorse until after the New Mexico primary, when Romney had the nomination well in hand.