Freshman Congresswoman Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., is firing back at a "hit piece" published by MSNBC that accused her and other "MAGA" voices within the Hispanic community of "providing cover for their white nationalist allies."
The piece, penned by MSNBC opinion columnist Julio Ricardo Varela, urged journalists to "avoid placing too much emphasis on a representative of Mexican descent who’s signed on to a political movement that began with the demonization of Mexicans."
"I knew that MSNBC did hit pieces, but when I saw that, I was more or less disgusted," Luna told Fox News Digital in an interview on Wednesday. "And it's mainly because if you see what we're really fighting for and by we, I mean- there's many other members of this conference that are of Hispanic origins and then also to Black representatives as well. And then you see how the left really does try to box us into these stereotypes and then how they will try to just insult our integrity and insult our character and then to make such a claim… it was disgusting to me."
Luna, one of five new Hispanic Republican members of Congress, says she was singled out by Varela because of her "bigger presence" in the public eye, pointing to her past work at Prager University and Turning Point USA, which Varela labeled a "MAGA white supremacist cult." The group's president Charlie Kirk has threatened MSNBC with legal action over the comment.
"The reason I am conservative and the reason I am supportive of President Trump is because his policy positions are something that I support. And I find it interesting that these same outlets that are trying to say that we are providing cover for this, quote unquote ‘white nationalist movement,’ not only is it insulting- one, me being a minority woman that's a veteran as well, but also two, they're failing to call out very high-profile elected officials that made very derogatory and stereotypical comments about Hispanics to include the first lady, Jill Biden. We all know that she referenced us as ‘breakfast tacos’ and Nancy Pelosi saying that if we don't allow illegals here, 'who's going to pick the crops?' I mean, you want to call out bigotry and racism or stereotypes, let's start there. But to hit me on the fact that I'm a conservative and then act as if I'm providing cover for these people, I mean, it just, it just goes to show how much of a threat conservative minorities really are."
This isn't the first time that legacy media targeted minorities who identify as conservative. Last year, The New York Times ran the headline "The Rise of the Far-Right Latina" that highlighted Hispanic congressional candidates running in the 2022 midterms. In 2021, The Washington Post invoked "multiracial Whiteness" to explain how former President Trump saw his support increase among people of color in 2020 from 2016.
Luna put the "pattern" on full blast.
"Starting in 2016, you saw the rise of the largest voting minority in the country now becoming Hispanic-Americans, specifically those of Mexican descent. What I find interesting is that in 2016 and then in 2020, the very progressive left that likes to many times suppress and control minorities whether you are Black or Hispanic, did not like the fact that there were those of us that were stepping outside of their groupthink mentality and saying, 'Hey, look, we don't agree with this. This is a serious problem,'" Luna said.
"Anyone that is Hispanic will tell you that we're not just monolithic, we're not just one color, and that a lot of times… you can have one sibling or family member that might be whiter skin or dark skin, but we don't look at that when we're engaged with one another… It's completely divisive and I refuse to let that be the narrative that shapes my message to this country, that shapes my message to younger men and women that are conservative and are minorities and are wanting to embrace our ideologies. And I think that these outlets should be called out on their hypocrisy because it's wrong," she continued.
Luna laid out what she thinks is the disconnect between the legacy media and Hispanic Americans in the year 2023.
"The media fails to recognize that Hispanic Americans are going to vote for what's best for this country, and that as small business owners, as people that have been raised predominantly Catholic and Christian, a lot of these progressive ideologies do not sit well within our communities. And you want to talk about a community that really embraces family lifestyle, I mean, I'd say children are probably the number one most important thing to a Hispanic family," Luna said. "And when you have legislators on the left that are trying to remove family and replace family with big government and imply that the federal government can do better for parenting than they can, that upsets people, concerns people. You have a majority of people, at least in Florida, that have fled communism, that are from Cuba and Venezuela and socialism. And they understand firsthand the effects of a government that overreaches."
Luna referred to the 18 Spanish-language radio stations that were bought last year by George Soros-backed Latino Media Network, which Hispanic conservatives believe is trying to stifle their voices in Florida.
"We have to take back that megaphone, and we have to take back that conversation," Luna told Fox News Digital. "Sometimes we are suppressed, sometimes we're targeted, sometimes we're, you know, attacked, but it's part of the job. And I think that if they thought that I was just going to roll over and cry in the corner because they called me a white supremacist, they have something else coming."
Luna noted that she isn't the only GOP lawmaker that has faced discrimination, pointing to the attack her Florida colleague Byron Donalds received by MSNBC host Joy Reid, who appeared to agree with the description of him as a "prop" for Republicans as he briefly ran as a House Speaker alternative to Kevin McCarthy.
"Minorities who step up to the plate and do embrace conservative ideologies are always going to be labeled and attempted to be discredited. But just know that there are so many more people like us," Luna said. "So I think that we are bridging the gap. And I think the more that the media works against us, the more people see through that. And so I think that candidates like myself, Byron Donalds, we represent really what the Republican Party is and the message that's resonating with the base."
As a newly sworn-in congresswoman, Luna says among her first legislative priorities is to "take care of service members" who were forced out due to the COVID vaccine mandates and tackling Big Tech, specifically over privacy issues and protecting all political candidates from having their free speech suppressed, referring to the revelations from Elon Musk's "Twitter Files."
Luna, who was one of the 20 GOP holdouts that initially blocked McCarthy from being elected speaker until she backed him in the final rounds of votes, has yet to receive any committee assignments but hopes to land a spot on the House Oversight Committee as well as the committees on Natural Resources and Veteran Affairs.
When asked whether she has made Democrat friends on Capitol Hill so far, Luna said she met "a couple of people who are nice" but declined to name names, hoping in the future she can rally some of them for bipartisan legislation on Big Tech and China.
On the subject of 2024, which has largely been dominated by Trump's already-declared candidacy and buzz surrounding her state's governor Ron DeSantis, Luna expressed her support for the former president.
"I am a total selfish Floridian… I don't want to lose DeSantis. I love him. I want him to be with us for the next four years," Luna said. "I mean, President Trump supported me early on, so I do support President Trump. But, you know, I'm just going to have to say that I love them both. They're both incredible. My ideal ticket would be Trump-DeSantis."
Published to Fox News.