Ahead Of Latino SNL Protest, Trump Retweets Bush in Sombrero, Swastika Images

by Suzanne Gamboa /  / Updated 

Representatives of Latino groups say GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's willingness to retweet an image of rival Jeb Bush in a Mexican sombrero and next to a swastika shows why they are planning protests on Wednesday night against "Saturday Night Live" for having Trump host the show on Nov. 7.

“He keeps pushing the envelope so that the more that people find his comments acceptable, the more he pushes outwardly on those issues. He presses those buttons even harder,” said Felix Sánchez, founder of National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA).

RELATED: Donald Trump Tweets a Picture Of Jeb Bush Next to a Swastika

“That is why the protest is out there. We know he’s using Latinos as a wedge issue. African Americans used to be the classic conservative wedge issue and now Latinos and Latino immigrants have become the new wedge issue,” said Sánchez.

On Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked “Saturday Night Live” and parent company NBC Universal to “disinvite” Trump to the show.

Brent Wilkes, the executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, wrote in an opinion article published Wednesday in the Huffington Post that allowing Trump to host the program "is nothing short of a slap in the face to the more than 50 million Latinos living in the U.S."

RELATED: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Asks SNL, NBC to "Disinvite" Donald Trump

The NHFA is one of several groups planning an “All Out for SNL Dump Trump Rally” outside 30 Rockefeller Center, the location of the SNL studio. Others are the National Council of La Raza, National Hispanic Media Coalition, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, America's Voice, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Institute for Latino Policy. Other national groups like MoveOn.org and Justice League, as well as local groups, are also participating. The groups have stated they are bringing more than 460,000 signatures of people asking SNL and NBC to rescind its invitation of Trump.

The tweet that Trump retweeted on Wednesday has since been deleted, but not before being redistributed on Twitter by critics. The tweet originated from the account @Life &Liberty.

The tweet also read, "ADIOS JEB, aka JOSÉ."

Jeb Bush, a former Florida governor, is married to a Mexican woman, Columba Bush. He speaks Spanish fluently, which he has used in his campaign, something also criticized by Trump.

Sánchez said Trump's retweet of the tweet is a response to some polls showing he's slipped behind Ben Carson in the GOP race for the party's nomination. "If you lose ground in the polls, you know which button to push harder because it absolutely resonates with a certain kind of bigoted mentality in this country."

The NHFA created and posted a video on YouTube criticizing NBC and SNL, saying they were “sanitizing bigotry.”

SNL has told NBC News Latino it is not commenting on the protests or controversy regarding Trump's appearance.

In his speech declaring his presidential run, Trump said people that Mexico sends to the U.S. bring drugs, crime and are rapists.

The Trump campaign suggested on Wednesday that his retweet was accidental.

“This was retweeted by Mr. Trump like hundreds of others. He did not see the accompanying image and the retweet has since been deleted,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement.

Hicks emailed the same statement when asked whether Trump planned to apologize for retweeting the swastika image and whether he had further comment on the follower that he retweeted.

Kristy Campbell, Bush’s national press secretary, responded with sarcasm to the retweet Tuesday night.

Emily Benavides, also a spokeswoman for Bush who heads his Hispanic media outreach, went further Wednesday:

“This is just the latest in a series of offensive and derogatory tweets from Donald Trump," she said in a statement. "The American people, and the Hispanic community in particular, deserve more respect and decorum from presidential candidates.”

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