Ana Navarro: Strategist or Stand-Up Comedian?

By Claire Goldberg

Republican strategist and Nicaraguan immigrant Ana Navarro is not your typical GOP commentator. She has been a leader for Republican women who have decided they’ve had enough with the sexism of the Republican party, especially from their nominee. In this election cycle, she has utilized Twitter and TV news to call out Donald Trump and his constant stream of controversial comments and questionable actions, despite her party preferences. And she does it with a sense of humor.

“Just woke-up. Can't keep track of # of accusers against Donald Cosby. Oops! I mean Donald Ailes. Oops! I mean Donald Trump,” Navarro tweeted a couple weeks ago.

At a Latino Votes panel on Oct. 14, she discussed the vulgar remarks Trump made with Billy Bush in 2005, speaking for women of all parties and all backgrounds. “That videotape of Donald Trump was a game changer. It cuts to every demographic: You’re either a woman or you know a woman.” Navarro said.

Although she has been known for her comebacks, her positivity, humor and general love of government are what truly define her. She credits Ronald Reagan’s fight against communism as what caused her to identify as a Republican, despite the fact that some of her social beliefs, such as her pro-gay rights stance, are more left-leaning.

“My home country went through a civil war and communist revolution when I was a child,” Navarro said. “My dad was a Nicaraguan Freedom Fighter. Political discussions were part of my life growing up. And I come from a very politically engaged and politically aware community in South Florida.”

From there, she has worked on Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial transition team, as well as on John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council in his 2008 presidential run. One of her biggest key issues has been Latino rights and immigration reform, which is one part of the Democratic nominee’s platform that she tends to agree with.

“Hillary Clinton has committed to filing immigration legislation in the first 100 days, and I think she really intends to do it,” Navarro said.

She is by no means a Clinton supporter, making it clear at the panel that, “She is not my candidate.” Navarro does have respect for Clinton, though, despite general disapproval of her policies and personality.

“I think it’s been lost because of everything that’s happened, but dammit, we have our first woman nominee, and that is a feat and an achievement that should be celebrated whether she’s your party or not,” Navarro said. “It wasn’t but 100 years ago that we didn’t have the right to vote and today one of us is standing on that big stage competing for the big prize. I can tell you I was on TV the day she clenched the nomination. I’m kind of a cynic when it comes to this gender stuff. But I found myself feeling something.”

And although Navarro may not be a feminist, her position as a women in leadership has been truly crucial in an election that has included women in ways both good and bad. Along with females from the Bush administration, fellow Republican pundits and even Republican manbassadors, she has been on the forefront of calling out Donald Trump for his anti-woman, aggressive and often worrisome stances. She has made it clear that harassment and threatened abuse is not the way for a person to act, let alone a Presidential candidate. 

Source: Email interview with Ana Navarro, October 2016