Anti-immigrant conservative pundit Ann Coulter is claiming responsibility for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's incendiary rhetoric characterizing Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.”
On June 1, Coulter released the book Adios, America, which purports to document the Democratic plan to turn the United States “into a third world hellhole” through immigration from places like Latin America. The book recycles nativist talking points and, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “routinely cites white nationalists, anti-Muslim activists and anti-immigrant groups” to attack immigrants, especially on crime.
During his June 16 presidential announcement speech, Trump said the U.S. “has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems” such as Mexican murderers and rapists:
TRUMP: The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems. Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people.
Trump's remarks sparked a furious backlash from Hispanic advocacy groups, businesses tied to him, and some Republicans. Many on Fox News, however, have defended Trump. Coulter has frequently appeared on the conservative network to push Adios, America.
Coulter suggested that Trump's rhetoric came from her book in a July 2 tweet, writing: “Where do you think all that spicy stuff about Mexican rape culture came from? @realDonaldTrump got an advance copy.”
-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 2, 2015
Coulter also praised Trump in a July 1 column, claiming he “broke the embargo on unpleasant facts about what our immigration policies are doing to the country.”
On May 26, prior to the book's publication, Trump tweeted: ".@AnnCoulter's new book-- 'Adios, America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole'-- is a great read. Good job!"
.@AnnCoulter's new book-- “Adios, America! The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” -- is a great read. Good job!
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2015
On June 20, after Coulter praised his candidacy, Trump tweeted: “Thank you @AnnCoulter for your nice words. The U.S. is becoming a dumping ground for the world. Pols don't get it. Make America Great Again!"
New York magazine's Annie Lowrey reported on June 25 that Coulter believes Trump “clearly” read her book. Coulter reportedly thanked Trump for bringing attention to the issue:
But she worried that Republican candidates would duck the issue rather than staking a strong claim, thus alienating either the pro-immigration or anti-immigration crowd. Save for one candidate, she mused: Donald Trump, who had “clearly” read the copy of ¡Adios, America! that she had sent him. “Nobody talked about Hispanic child-rape until now,” she said. “That was in his opening speech!”
The Donald just might be the one to push the issue to the forefront and to pin down other candidates on their policies, she thought. “There is no possibility in any debate that there will be one question about immigration, the No. 1 issue in the country according to polls,” she said. (The economy generally trumps immigration in voter surveys.) “There won't be one question on it! There will be six questions on gay marriage, global warming, abortion, rape, sexism, the glass ceiling, a million questions on ISIS,” she said, then rolling her eyes and snoring loudly for rhetorical effect. “But there won't be one question on immigration. Now maybe there will be. Thank you, Donald Trump.”
Jonathan Chait, also with New York, wrote that Trump has been “repeating unpleasant lies. Studies show that immigrants have lower rates of violent crime than native-born populations." He added that Trump has also been using a Fusion article to support his claims about Mexican immigrant criminality even though the piece “in no way supports his point. The article describes the travails of undocumented-immigrant women who are frequently raped by smugglers and gang members on their journey into the United States. It does not describe rapes being committed by immigrants themselves.”