South Florida Hispanics: Democrats must deal with us

DNC spokesman Luis Miranda Wednesday at Democratic Hispanic Summit at FIU near Miami
DNC spokesman Luis Miranda Wednesday at Democratic Hispanic Summit at FIU near Miami

UNIVERSITY PARK, Fla. — When you’re stumping for votes in Iowa, you talk about farms. In Michigan, it’s blue collar jobs. Here in South Florida, presidential candidates avoid the Hispanic experience at their peril.

So expect that to be one of the major topics, if not the primary one — pun intended — when Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debate tonight in advance of next Tuesday’s critical Florida primary.

» RELATED: Everything you need to know about tonight’s Democratic debate in Miami

Here at Florida International University, west of Miami, the Democratic National Committee wrapped up a 2-day “Democratas” Hispanic Summit at midday today, just hours before the former Secretary of State and the Vermont U.S. Senator face off tonight, eight miles south at Miami-Dade College’s Kendall campus.

Hispanics and Latinos account for as many as 4.5 million Floridians, behind only Texas and California, which also are the two states ahead of Florida in total population.

They represent two of three here in Miami-Dade County, one in five in Palm Beach County, and one in four across Florida.

On Tuesday, the issue was addressed by Sanders, at an evening rally in downtown Miami, and surrogates for both Sanders and Clinton, in conference calls with reporters.

In all three cases, the argument was that the other wasn’t doing enough for Hispanics, wasn’t doing enough for the conditions of farm workers, wasn’t doing enough for immigration reform, and wasn’t spelling out what to do about millions of immigrants living in the shadows, many of them Hispanic.

But because Wednesday’s summit was a DNC event, the main target was the other guy. The one who has a place in Palm Beach.

“The Republican establishment can try to run away from Donald Trump, but they were the architects of the ugly and divisive politics that are fueling his rage,” DNC spokesman Luis Miranda said in an agenda package distributed for the summit.

“Even if Donald Trump got his way and we deported all 11 million undocumented immigrants,” Miranda told the conference, “you would still have 40 million, close to 45 million, Hispanics in the United States, who are legal, or U.S. citizens, or U.S. born. We’re right where we need to be and we’ve got to tae the responsibility to speak out.”

Hillary team: Sanders “absent” from Florida, Hispanics

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been “largely absent” both from Florida and from Hispanics, three surrogates for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, said Tuesday in a conference call.

Gutiérrez
Gutiérrez

“Hillary has fought for Latinos her whole life,” U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., said in the call, made hours before Sanders was set to lead a rally in downtown Miami. And a day before Sanders and Clinton were to debate Wednesday night at Miami-Dade College’s Kendall campus.

Gutiérrez, said in the 13 years he and Sanders both were in the House of Representatives, “he was absent from most of the critical immigration votes.” He said that in 2006, Sanders voted for a bill that would have allowed for indefinite detention of undocumented immigrants.

“It’s clear Hillary is the only person we can trust to lead 12 million people out of the shadows,” the congressman said.

“The people of Florida know Hillary Clinton has been working for us her entire life,” former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said.

And Millie Herrera, former Southeast Region Representative for the U.S. Department of Labor, said Sanders “has been largely absent from Florida and he has been largely absent from the Latino community until recently.”

The three were asked if Clinton would do more to seal Florida’s version of the border, its 1,300-mile coastline, and prevent people from risking their lives on the seas, and whether she as president would bring more federal money for Florida to help it deal with its stream of immigrants, both legal and otherwise.

None of the three specifically addressed the questions, although Gutiérrez did say, “we need to secure our borders. The way we do it is to have comprehensive reform. It allows people to come legally to the U.S. instead of risking their lives.”

Referring to the nickname for often ruthless human smugglers, the congressman said, “we want people to come not with a coyote, but with a visa.”

And, he said, “the best way to help the economy in Florida is to do exactly what Hillary Clinton is doing.”

By helping immigrants come into the open, he said, “there are tens of thousands of Floridians, dreamers, who are paying taxes. They’re finally a part of the fabric of American life.”

Clinton, Sanders in Florida this week; Sanders ad to feature Florida farmworkers

Bernie Sanders has raised more than $30 million from people giving $200 or less.
Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders move to Florida this week in advance of the critical March 15 primary.

The two square off Wednesday at the Miami-Dade College Kendall campus. The next day, Clinton will be at a “get out the vote” campaign in event in Tampa.

Republican candidates debate Thursday at the University of Miami.

Also over the weekend, the Sanders campaign released a new ad that criticizes working conditions for farmworker families in Immokalee and calls on the farming industry to add one cent per pound of tomatoes to give workers better pay and benefits. A 5-minute version will air at 8:48 p.m. Thursday on the Spanish-language network Univision. Watch ad

Jeb Bush in Iowa: Trump’s Muslim ban would show U.S. is ‘retreating in the world’

jeb in iowa
Jeb Bush spoke to a crowd of potential voters at the Greasewood Flats Ranch in Carroll, Iowa, on Friday. (George Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Jeb Bush took time on his campaign stop Friday in Carroll, Iowa, to talk Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and his economic record.

Speaking inside a packed room at the Greasewood Flats Ranch with snow covering the ground outside, the former Florida governor said if the U.S. accepts Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration, it would “send a signal that the U.S. is retreating in the world.”

Citing Benghazi, Bush said Clinton is smart and sincere but “I can’t give her credit for honesty and trustworthiness.” He added that he has the economic record to “take it to Hillary Clinton.”

For more updates from the campaign trail in Iowa, follow me on Twitter, @gbennettpost.

Clinton, Carson, more react to Obama’s executive order on gun control

An emotional President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, pauses as he recalled the 20 first-graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, about steps his administration is taking to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
An emotional President Barack Obama, joined by Vice President Joe Biden, pauses as he recalled the 20 first-graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, about steps his administration is taking to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Politicians were swift to react Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s announcement on his executive order on gun control.

Presidential candidates, congressional leaders and state lawmakers shared their thoughts on Obama’s plan.

(Read more here on Obama’s announcement.)

https://twitter.com/GOPLeader/status/684428328040804352

https://twitter.com/RepMurphyFL/status/684431789167886336

 

Jeb Bush offers selfie tips during stop in West Palm Beach | Photos

Jeb Bush — king of the campaign trail selfie? (Getty Images)
Jeb Bush — king of the campaign trail selfie? (Getty Images)

Jeb Bush, at a stop in West Palm Beach to speak to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches on Monday, took time to discuss one of the hottest issues on the 2016 campaign trail: selfies.

Bush, who got standing ovations at both ends of his talk, took on a question about the ubiquitous “selfie,” saying it’s “now the 11th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It’s inspired by our framers and founders, apparently. It’s a requirement that you take one. And I do it with great joy in my heart.”

He gave a tutorial, showing that a diagonal angle is better than a horizontal one, and that high is better than low because “you look skinnier.”

Bush’s comments almost immediately went viral.

CNN posted an article titled “Jeb Bush’s guide to selfies on the 2016 trail.

The New York Times headline on Bush’s time in West Palm Beach said “Jeb Bush Succumbs to Selfie Craze and Offers Tips on Selfie Etiquette.”

Bush even tweeted video of what he called “a master class” on taking a selfie.

For what it’s worth, Bush isn’t the only candidate rocking the selfie on the campaign trail. As supporters have more access to social media than in any presidential campaign before, candidates have latched onto the concept.

A few examples from the past year:

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush takes a selfie with an Iowa resident after speaking at a Pizza Ranch restaurant on March 7, 2015 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush takes a selfie with an Iowa resident after speaking at a Pizza Ranch restaurant on March 7, 2015 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

 

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with a supporter during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the Verizon Wireless Center on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with a supporter during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the Verizon Wireless Center on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

 

Former business executive Carly Fiorina, right, poses for a selfie with Joe Koberna at the Johnson County Republicans Spaghetti Dinner at Clear Creek Amana High School on April 24, 2015 in Tiffin, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former business executive Carly Fiorina, right, poses for a selfie with Joe Koberna at the Johnson County Republicans Spaghetti Dinner at Clear Creek Amana High School on April 24, 2015 in Tiffin, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, center, takes a selfie in front of the Butter Cow with his children, Grace and William, during the Iowa State Fair on August 13, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, center, takes a selfie in front of the Butter Cow with his children, Grace and William, during the Iowa State Fair on August 13, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich, left, poses for a selfie during a campaign stop at Portiillo's restaurant on September 29, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich, left, poses for a selfie during a campaign stop at Portiillo’s restaurant on September 29, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, right, takes a selfie as he greets guests outside the Alpha Gamma Rho house during a campaign stop at Iowa State University on October 24, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, right, takes a selfie as he greets guests outside the Alpha Gamma Rho house during a campaign stop at Iowa State University on October 24, 2015 in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

A supporter takes a selfie with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) after a watch party for the second Democratic presidential debate November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A supporter takes a selfie with Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) after a watch party for the second Democratic presidential debate November 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

 

A supporter of Donald Trump takes a selfie with the Republican presidential candidate at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
A supporter of Donald Trump takes a selfie with the Republican presidential candidate at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Read more on Bush’s appearance in West Palm Beach, and his challenge to Donald Trump.