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Hillary Clinton Not First Politician to Use ‘Old Mexican Proverb’

Hillary Clinton
AP
• August 25, 2016 4:18 pm

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Hillary Clinton busted out an "old Mexican proverb" on Thursday to attack Donald Trump, recycling an attack that was used by Democrats to attack Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.

"There's an old Mexican proverb that says ‘Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are,'" said Clinton during a speech in which she tried to tie Trump to racism. "We know who Trump is." Her campaign tweeted the line out, too.

That proverb was used in an attempt to tie Romney to racists four years ago.

The phrase was the headline of a Huffington Post piece written by Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D.), which began with the same line of attack.

"In Spanish, we say ‘Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres'—'Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are,'" wrote Gallego along with Arizona state legislator Anna Tovar. "Mitt Romney walks today with the most anti-immigrant officials in America."

The piece went on to make the same argument against Romney that Clinton made against Trump on Thursday.

"Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president, is actively courting the most divisive and extreme advocates on one of the critical issues our next president will decide," wrote Gallego and Tovar.

It wasn't even an original proverb to use in 2012.

In a speech delivered just three days before the 1980 presidential election, Democratic President Jimmy Carter used the words to illustrate his work with the Hispanic community.

"There's something else I'm committed to, and it's expressed by the Spanish saying: ‘Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres,'" said Carter in a Brownville, Texas, speech on Nov. 1, 1980. "And you know who I walk with, right?"

"I am proud that I've been able in just three and a half years to appoint more than 200 Hispanic Americans to senior government positions, more than any other previous administration in history," Carter continued. "And I know the concern of all Americans with equal justice."

Carter would end up winning just six states in the 1980 election, losing handily to Republican Ronald Reagan.

Published under: 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton