Can Carlos Curbelo survive Donald Trump's GOP?
When he was first elected in 2014, Carlos Curbelo seemed like the perfect face of the new, post-Mitt Romney Republican Party: a young Hispanic who supports immigration reform, believes in climate change and is well-liked by GOP leaders in Congress.
Then came the 2016 presidential election. Out went Republicans’ plans — swept away by Donald Trump’s populist force — to grow their party by embracing diversity and a soft political touch. The presumptive nominee derided some Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” opined global warming is a “hoax” and dismissed House Speaker Paul Ryan’s vacillation over whether to endorse him.
In the midst of it all, Curbelo — the 36-year-old congressman who gained national notoriety last year when he suggested Trump might be a ringer planted by Democrat Hillary Clinton — has pushed a legislative agenda aimed at notching incremental victories as a freshman and trying to appeal to constituents in a district more Democratic than the one that put him in office two years ago.
Can a moderate like Curbelo survive in Trump’s GOP?
Yes, Curbelo insists — assuming Trump’s name leading the November ballot doesn’t end his congressional career after a single term.