The National Federation of Independent Business said it would tweet coverage of the Republican National Convention in Spanish for the first time ever, even as the party’s presumed nominee Donald Trump has made controversial statements about Mexican immigrants.
“Hispanic-owned businesses are among the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs and we want them to know that NFIB is there for them,” said NFIB president and CEO Juanita Duggan.
A spokesman said the first tweet went out early Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, the final day of the GOP gathering in Cleveland, the group plans to live tweet all evening.
The small-business lobby, which often takes staunchly conservative positions including a high-profile court challenge against 2010 health care law, has endorsed numerous Republican congressional candidates including Sen. Marco Rubio’s re-election effort in Florida. NFIB does not make endorsements for president, the spokesman said. NFIB also has come out against President Barack Obama’s stalled Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
Trump, who has pledged to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and has called undocumented immigrants from Mexico “rapists” and criminals, has made his opposition to illegal immigration a signature policy stance. The real estate mogul has also said that some Mexican immigrants “I assume, are good people.”
NFIB noted that that 3.3 million U.S. businesses are Hispanic-owned, according to Small Business Administration data. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of such firms grew by 46 percent.
“This is an important group of business owners who have many of the same concerns and face many of the same problems as the rest of our members,” said Duggan, who took over the group earlier this year. “We want to communicate with Hispanic members and prospects in whatever language is most comfortable to them.”
The group has similar plans for covering the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia.