Donald Trump is pretty confident he'll win the Hispanic vote in 2016 despite widespread outrage over his controversial comments about Mexican immigrants.
"I have great relationship with the Mexican people. I have many people working for me...I have many legal immigrants working for me," Trump said in a Wednesday interview with NBC News. "They love me, I love them."
"If I get the nomination, I'll win the Latino vote," he added. "I will win it because I'll create jobs. Hillary Clinton will not be able to create jobs. Neither is Jeb Bush going to create jobs. I will create jobs and the Latinos will have jobs that they don't have right now, and I will win that vote."
The real estate magnate, who is a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, ignited a firestorm of criticism last month after he called some Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. The comments have hurt Trump's business, with several retailers moving to distance themselves from his branded products. The PGA of America also announced it was not going to hold the Grand Slam of Golf on his golf course.
Trump's Republican rivals have moved to denounce his comments as well, though some did so with more haste than others. On Wednesday, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a three-minute video in which he he said Trump's comments don’t reflect GOP values. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another presidential hopeful, argued Wednesday that Trump's antics would hurt the party in 2016.
"The first rule in politics when in you're in a hole is to stop digging. Somebody needs to take the shovel out of Donald Trump's hand," the senator said at an Atlantic Council Q&A in Washington. “Why would any group vote for a party if it embraces that view? I sure as hell wouldn’t."