Over the course of the 2016 campaign, Javier Palomarez, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO repeatedly criticized Donald Trump, calling him a “buffoon,” and calling his mass deportation plan “the argument of a child and fear mongering at its worst.”
But now Palomarez is taking on the role of advisor to Trump’s national diversity coalition.
Palomarez tells the Standard that this move is less a change of opinion than it is a change of circumstances.
“We all went through the campaign – a grueling campaign filled with harsh rhetoric and opinions,” he says. “My association and I were clearly on one side and the president-elect was on another. We asked the president-elect to honor the will of the people and to respect the results of the election. At that time we believed that one side would win and not the other.”
Michael Cohen, the president-elect’s attorney and advisor, says he has asked Palomarez to serve as an advisor to Trump’s national diversity coalition because when it comes to Latino outreach, Palomarez has “the outreach and the number of members as [the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce] does.” But he also says the diversity group was partly founded to “dispel the notion that Mr. Trump is anti-Hispanic.”
Palomarez says that in his advisory position he has the ultimate responsibility to help the new administration understand the reality of the Hispanic market and American small business.
“We will gladly step up and do our job and do our fair share to ensure that we’re helping to move the American economy and the American people forward,” he says. “If that means being part of the coalition that my friend Michael Cohen has put together, then I will gladly serve in that capacity.”
Palomarez says he was a strong critic of Trump during the campaign season but now it’s time to deal with the reality of his presidency.
“There was not a Hispanic in this country that fought harder against Donald Trump. Beyond calling him irresponsible, beyond calling him a buffoon I called him a payaso,” he says. “I said he didn’t have the talent or the temperament.
“I could get outraged, I could do what everybody else is doing and clench my fists and stand in the corner and stomp my feet – or I can get busy,” he says.
Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.