Photo credit: Goya

Why are people so hurt by Bob Unanue's praise of Trump?

On Thursday, CEO and President of Goya Foods Bob Unanue, praised Donald Trump for his work with the economy at a White House event, stating “We’re all truly blessed… to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder.” 

Amidst the backlash he has faced since the event, he has refused to apologize for his remarks.

Goya CEO Responds To The Backlash

Goya Foods is the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States. Unanue told Fox News, “We were part of a commission called the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative and they called on us to be there to see how we could help opportunities within the economic and educational realm for prosperity among Hispanics and among the United States.”

The CEO called the backlash he received for visiting the White House a “suppression of speech” and noted his previous invitation to the White House by President Obama during Hispanic Heritage Month. 

He doubled down on his refusal to apologize, stating that he is not sorry for supporting the President’s economic policy and would not decline future invitations to the White House.“I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump,” he added.

Here’s How People Responded 

Shortly after his public praise of the President, #Goyaway was trending on Twitter. Prominent Hispanic leaders tweeted their support of the boycott, making their disappointment with the CEO evident. 

Former Democratic Presidential candidate Julián Castro tweeted, “@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products. #Goyaway.”  

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted a video of the CEO’s praise of Trump and wrote, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.’”

Republican strategist and political commentator Ana Navarro-Cárdenas noted that the backlash the company is facing should not be a surprise. “When the vast majority of your customers are Latinos, you might expect a backlash from serving as a prop for a guy who puts brown children in cages, calls countries like El Salvador, ‘shit-holes’, denies Puerto Rican deaths and calls Mexicans, ‘rapists and criminals’. That’s all.” she tweeted.

Why Are People So Hurt By This?

According to a New York Times/Siena College poll, Hispanic voters favor Joe Biden over Trump by 36%. This is not shocking when the rhetoric of the President is considered. Trump most notably began his presidency by slamming Mexican immigrants, calling them “rapists.” 

Unanue’s praise of Trump was seen as a betrayal to the many Hispanics that expected loyalty from a Hispanic company and CEO. Especially considering the President’s unapologetically spewed racist remarks about the Hispanic population. While Goya may lose the customers it once had, the company may also gain some new ones since the praise of the President may drive Trump supporters to buy Goya products in reaction to the current boycott.