President Trump holds 'Latinos for Trump' roundtable in Phoenix

President Trump in Phoenix, September 14, 2020
Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-15 01:25:10-04

PHOENIX — President Donald Trump visited Phoenix for a "Latinos for Trump" roundtable at the Arizona Grand Resort Monday.

Watch coverage of President Trump's visit in the player below.

RELATED: ABC15's exclusive interview with President Donald Trump

Economy was a top issue for supporters outside the event. More than 100 people stood in the "free speech zone" outside the resort waiting for President Trump to arrive.

"I thought he did great with the economy. I like the way he did the coronavirus thing, I didn't really see him sitting down and slacking on that," said Margaret Allen.

Laura Montes said she was a life-long Democrat but recently starting supporting Trump. "I know they say that we don't exist and they say that we're crazy and conspiracy theorists and hateful and terrorists and other stuff but we really just care about the world and care about humanity and it's OK to be Latino and be for Trump," said Montes.

Eric Espinoza said he backs strong borders and conservative values. "He's for family values, and that's what Hispanic people are all about--families, anti-abortion, law and order. You can't have a family, you can't have a prosperous economy unless you have law and order," said Espinoza.

About two-dozen people showed up to protest the president. "I stand up for children, for families, for crime, for greed, the mortal sins--I stand up against them," said Lisa Filiberto.

Candice VanEtten came out with her father, a veteran and former police officer. "Don't hug flags constantly and act like you're 'Mr. Patriot,' you're not the patriot, my dad is the patriot," she said.

Trump last visited Phoenix in June, where spoke at a "Students for Trump" event in north Phoenix.

Vice President Mike Pence will be participating in multiple events in Phoenix Friday as well, according to White House officials.

Both the Trump and Biden campaigns are increasing their outreach to Latino voters, who now make up the largest minority group in the U.S. and represent 24% of all eligible Arizona voters, according to the Pew Research Center.

The Arizona Republican Party said Sunday, thanks to three community centers in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma in Latino neighborhoods, the GOP has been able to connect with countless voters through a volunteer team of more than 1,100 people.

Pam Kirby, who serves on the Latinos for Trump advisory board, told ABC15 their message is getting through to voters who have historically voted for Democrats. She believes Trump's platform aligns with those voters' values of faith, family and freedom along with job and economic security.

"Latinos are getting back to work and they felt money in their back pockets pre-coronavirus, and post-coronavirus we're already starting to see the 'great American comeback,'" she told ABC15 on Sunday.

Still, Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) sees a different result, calling Trump "the worst President when it comes to Latinos in the history of Arizona."

"We have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to this President's handling," he said. "Small businesses, small Latino businesses, have been shuttered because the President did not handle the coronavirus correctly."