Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump presented an amiable image of himself to Latino Christian leaders on Friday, promising them that they are "going to like President Trump" after the election in November.
In a video message played at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference Convention in Anaheim, California, Trump abandoned his usual heated immigration rhetoric that has earned him many critics in the Latino community, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Instead of talking about illegal immigrants and what he would do to them, Trump talked about what he would do to improve the lives of people in poor and middle-class minority communities. He vowed to lower taxes, improve schools and create jobs as part of his campaign promise to "make America great again."
"I'm going to win and we're going to take care of everybody," Trump said. "We're going to take care of you. You're going to like President Trump."
According to recent polls, most Latinos dislike Trump and favour Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton by large margins, according to the LA Times.
However, many Latino evangelical Christians are known to embrace conservative social values and as such are more inclined to support Republican candidates. Many of them supported GOP nominee Mitt Romney against President Obama in 2012.
But Trump made it difficult for Latino Christians to support him when he began targeting illegal immigrants, said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Leadership Conference.
But many evangelical Latinos also don't like Clinton because of her support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage.
This poses a dilemma for evangelicals, Rodriguez said. "It is a weird year," he quipped.
However, Trump may yet succeed in wooing the evangelicals. Last May 11, he met with Christian leaders at his Trump Tower headquarters in New York, showing them his more amiable personality.
Mario Bramnick, senior pastor of New Wine Ministries Church in Cooper City, Florida, told Charisma News that Trump showed greater understanding for the plight of Latinos than he had in the past.
"I personally felt that I saw a different side of him from some of what has come forth in his statements previously," Bramnick said. "He seemed to understand the plight of the undocumented, the plight of the Latino here in America, and really showed a willingness to wanting to work with our community."