Mike Pence's 'that Mexican thing' comment during VP debate sparks social media firestorm

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Pence's 'that Mexican thing' comment sparks social media firestorm
A phrase from Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, "that Mexican thing," is taking on new life, and a Bay Area professor hopes it will lead to voter turnout.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A phrase from Tuesday night's vice presidential debate, "that Mexican thing," is taking on new life. Some viewers may wonder why we're focusing on this phrase and not talking about other issues that came up during the debate. Well, the answer is that it's become one of the most talked about moments from that forum. It's trending online because people want to continue this dialogue.

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"Senator, you've whipped out that Mexican thing," said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence during Tuesday night's debate.

Donald Trump's running mate ignited a social media firestorm the moment he spoke those three words. The phrase quickly became a hashtag.

"I'm sure Pence was referring to Mexicans in a diminishing way," San Francisco resident Marcello Porcu said.

On Twitter, people posted pictures of their grandparents and wrote, "American citizens who paid taxes."

One tweet said "that Mexican thing" is my dad who served his country in Vietnam.

And another reads, "that Mexican thing is when we vote."

Once Pence said it, someone immediately created ThatMexicanThing.com. If you go there, it will direct you to Hillary Clinton's website.

Following the phrase Gov. Pence said, "There are criminal aliens in this country, Tim, who have come into this country illegally, who are perpetrating violence."

Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine interjected, "You want to use a big tar brush against Mexicans."

RELATED: Kaine, Pence go on attack during VP debate

And Pence finished with, "He also said that many of them are good people."

Ken Goldstein is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco. He said, "For this to ultimately matter, 'Mexican thing'" has to turn into a 'Mexican turnout thing.'"

There has been a 25 percent increase in the number of citizenship applications compared to the last year, but because of the backlog, some applications may not be processed in time for the election.

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