Catherine Cortez Masto: “I am Judge Gonzalo Curiel”
My name is Catherine Cortez Masto, and I’m a proud descendent of Mexican Americans. I’m also proud to have spent my career as a prosecutor, protecting our most vulnerable from predators and working in a bipartisan manner to solve problems for the people of my state. My grandfather came to this country from Chihuahua, Mexico. He met my future grandmother in Las Cruces, New Mexico, before settling in Las Vegas. He also served our country during World War II. Through his hard work, and the hard work of my parents, my sister and I were the first in our family to go to college. I went on to become a federal prosecutor, and had the honor of serving as Nevada’s Attorney General for eight years.
My story is Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s story. To say that someone born in Indiana and who has lived a respected life of public service is not qualified to impartially and competently do his job because of his “Mexican heritage” is the equivalent of saying that I shouldn’t have been able to be a federal prosecutor, or Attorney General, or be able to run for Senate because I cannot impartially represent the people of Nevada. Contrary to what Donald Trump will have you believe, my “Mexican heritage” did not affect my ability to enforce the law impartially. And it won’t affect Judge Curiel’s in overseeing the case involving the scam organization known as Trump University.
As Nevada’s former top law enforcement officer, I know a pattern when I see it: Donald Trump makes an outlandish proposal, others in his Party cower in fear, then slowly release vague statements of nominal disagreement that seem more designed to avoid alienating Trump’s supporters than in deservedly chastising the Republican nominee. My opponent, Congressman Heck, is among those in his Party who seem more concerned about not offending Trump and his supporters than in doing what is right.
It means nothing to denounce Trump’s latest insult if at the end of the day you are still supporting him for President. Congressman Heck has endorsed Donald Trump, even adopting Trump’s talking points about “making America great again.” Well I have news for Donald Trump and Congressman Heck — America is already great, and Mexican Americans have played a role in making us great. Judge Curiel’s success in life is a repudiation of every comment Donald Trump has made about Mexican immigrants. We aren’t rapists and drug dealers, we’re judges, doctors, teachers, Attorneys General and even United States Senators. I’d be proud to be the first Latina ever to serve in the U.S. Senate.
I don’t need a lecture from Donald Trump on keeping people safe, and I certainly don’t need a lecture on Mexican immigrants. I know what drug dealers and rapists look like — I actually prosecuted them and put them behind bars. I also know what Mexicans look like — my grandfather immigrated to this country from Mexico. Mexican Americans deserve respect and opportunity, not broad character assassinations and insults from a major Party’s nominee for President.
As Nevada’s Attorney General, I worked with both Parties to solve problems. I know what it’s like to work across the aisle to get things done. My opponent — in his endorsement of Donald Trump — is making clear that he will continue to put his Party in Washington ahead of the people of Nevada. Nevada’s Hispanic community deserves better.