Florida represents an important battleground during presidential elections. The swing state went twice for George W. Bush, then twice for Barack Obama and then it went to Donald Trump in 2016. Vice President Pence spent Thursday campaigning in the Sunshine State where the Trump campaign hopes to win again in 2020.
Thursday evening the vice president spoke at a Latinos for Trump event at a Kissimmee church called Nación de Fe. He said that the nation needs “four more years” with President Trump at the country’s helm.
“But to keep America great, we need you to decide right here and right now that Florida’s going to vote for four more years of President Donald Trump in the White House,” the vice president declared. He added that, “four more years means more jobs. Four more years means more judges. Four more years means more support for our troops. And it’s gonna take at least four more years to drain that swamp.”
According to 2016 exit polls President Trump earned 28 percent of the Latino vote nationally and 35 percent of the Latino vote in the Sunshine State. He ultimately won Florida’s 29 electoral votes which made up a significant percentage of his final tally of electoral votes.
"We are Latinos who will united and mobilize to re-elect President Donald J. Trump," the Latinos for Trump campaign website declares. "Another four years means more jobs, better education for our kids, and freedom from big government.
Latinos for Trump advisory board member Bertica Cabrera Morris and former Attorney General of Puerto Rico José Fuentes both indicated that Hispanics share the same concerns as Americans at large. Morris is an immigrant from Cuba who said that President Trump “has kept the promises he made.” Fuentes serves as an advisor to the Trump campaign.
“We are much more secure, we have more money in our pockets, our kids have jobs, we have better jobs, we’re paying less taxes and life is good,” Fuentes said. “That’s the message that we’re bringing to this community.”
Trump supporter Leonel Enriquez attended the event on Thursday—a Cuban immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1961 and then became a citizen in 1970, Enriquez voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to vote for him again in 2020.
Cheny Bright, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, also voted for Trump during the last election and plans to vote for him again this year. She said that this was the first time she had ever attended a Trump campaign event.
Alberto Rodriguez will also be a repeat Trump voter in 2020. He described Trump as the first president since Ronald Reagan “fighting for the American people instead of fighting the American people” and the first since Reagan who “really has our back as Americans.”
The Florida Democratic Party held an anti-Trump press conference the day before the vice president’s Kissimmee speech. Signs on the wall behind the speakers read “Presidente Incompetente,” which means exactly what it sounds like: “Incompetent President” according to the translation provided by Google Translate.
“We’re here to continue to lead the fight against Pence and Trump. We’ll never forget how they’ve turned their backs on Hispanic communities,” Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party Juan Peñalosa said.
Wes Roy, a longtime friend of Mike Pence who attended the Kissimmee event described the vice president as “a staunch believer in the American spirit,” and said, “Mike speaks the truth. Mike is a very deep-rooted Christian individual, but does not push his Christianity or anything that he believes in on someone else.” Roy said, “what you see with Mike Pence is what you get.”