The Republican nominee has faced backlash for remarks that suggest he would rather have the nation’s Hispanic population stay home.
In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Trump said he would prefer Hispanics to stay home and “vote like they are voting right now.”
He said that’s because he wants them to “go back to where they were, where they are living and living their lives, where their jobs are.”
Trump also claimed Hispanics are “living in the worst economy since World War II,” which was not based on facts, and that “they don’t even know it.”
He told the conservative group that “you look at their taxes, you look at what they are spending.
They are living in the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world.
And they are paying less than $1,000 a year for health care.”
The GOP nominee also said that Hispanics “are taking in $12 billion in welfare and $30 billion in student loans and $15 billion in other entitlements,” which he said are the result of “crippled” welfare programs and a “massive transfer of wealth” to the top.
Trump also said, “And by the way, I don’t have the same level of compassion or empathy for the Hispanic community, because I can’t be a leader.”
Trump is also facing criticism for comments about Hispanics, particularly the size of the Hispanic population in the United States.
In July, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that “I have never had a Hispanic friend.”
The candidate has faced criticism from both sides of the aisle, as well as from many Hispanics and other minority groups, for saying that Hispanics are too small and that his comments are racist.
But he has maintained that he is the only candidate who can win the Latino vote.
The CNN/ORC poll released Friday found that 57 percent of Hispanics said they would back Trump if he were the Republican nominee.