Debate viewers had a lot of fun last night with Mike Pence’s complaint to Tim Kaine that, “You whipped out that Mexican thing again.” A meme was born: #ThatMexicanThing and #ThatMexicanThingAgain. None of it favorable to Pence, particularly since he used it to reinforce Trump’s claim that immigrants are criminals.
Watch courtesy of USAToday:
Pence said to Kaine at one point, “Did you work on that one a long time? ‘Cause that had a lot of really creative lines in it.” The laugh was on him as Twitter had a lot of “really creative” lines.
As Chris Hayes tweeted,
"You whipped out that Mexican thing again."
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 5, 2016
First there was the blatant racism of the line to consider. Donald Trump has spent an inordinate amount of time denigrating minorities, beginning his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and criminals and suggesting immigrants are not the best Mexico has to offer.
It is insensitive, to say the least, for a vexed Pence to impatiently refer to that hate rhetoric as “that Mexican thing again.”
Comedy writer Raf Esparza drove the point home with this tweet:
"Can you stop whipping out that Mexican thing?" – VP pick from a party who can't understand why they don't get the hispanic vote.#VPDebate
— Raf Esparza (@EarlyLateNight) October 5, 2016
And then there was the humor,
— Two Houses (@2HolyHouses) October 5, 2016
— Pin Head (@PiercedSkull) October 5, 2016
There was also a little bit of humor and fact combined:
— Carlos Pina (@chido_38) October 5, 2016
And making a few sales:
For tomorrow's lunch special, we'll be whipping out that Mexican thing.
— WesWings (@Weswings) October 5, 2016
The result isn’t a pretty one for Trump/Pence, because math:
— Lola Alevtia (@CoolGirlFusion) October 5, 2016
Probably, Mike Pence did not want this to be our takeaway from last night’s debate, which was ostensibly to support Trump, but really to promote himself.
President Obama, hearing it, would have said, “please proceed, Governor.” If Pence distanced himself from Trump at times, he did not distance himself from racism of his party.
As one twitter wit asked,
— John Wright (@j0hn_r_riite) October 5, 2016
Yes, as another observer pointed out, “Now Trump will say that Pence never said #ThatMexicanThingAgain.” But he did say it. And millions of Latino voters heard it loud and clear.
“That Mexican thing” will back to haunt Trump and Pence, and if Pence runs in 2020, he had better be prepared to be reminded of one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the 2016 election.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.