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Trump courts Hispanic voters in Florida amid tight race with Biden

Trump courts Hispanic voters in Florida amid tight race with Biden
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE on Friday courted Hispanic voters in Florida, arguing he had delivered record-low unemployment for Hispanic Americans before the coronavirus pandemic and would do so again while attacking Joe BidenJoe BidenNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter Trump narrows Biden's lead in Pennsylvania: poll Florida breaks first-day early voting record with 350K ballots cast MORE over the Democratic nominee's economic agenda.

Trump hosted a “Latinos for Trump” roundtable at his Doral golf resort in Miami, Fla. In remarks to a crowd of about 150 supporters, he also claimed that the United States would resemble Venezuela under a potential Biden administration, describing himself as a “wall between the American dream and chaos.”

“This would be a Venezuela on major steroids,” Trump warned. “With me, it doesn’t happen. You put the wrong people in office, it could happen rapidly.”

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The president touted his administration’s sanctions on Cuba just days after announcing new measures blocking American travelers from staying at Cuban government-owned properties and limiting imports of Cuban alcohol and tobacco.

The president also criticized Biden over the Obama administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba and knocked the former vice president for meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in 2015.

Trump and his campaign have made a concerted effort to court Hispanic voters in states like Florida, Arizona and Nevada in recent weeks by staging similar roundtable events as the November election draws nearer. Nationally, Biden holds a significant lead over Trump among Latino voters, though he has a smaller edge in the swing state of Florida.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week found Trump leading Biden 51 percent to 47 percent among likely voters in the Sunshine State. The poll found Biden with 52 percent support among Latinos registered to vote in Florida compared to Trump’s 39 percent.

Hispanics comprise a significant portion of Florida’s population, and shoring up his support among the key voting bloc could help Trump win the Sunshine State, which is seen as crucial to his reelection chances. Still, Biden maintains a significant lead over Trump in national polling and has an edge in other swing states.

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On Friday, Trump touted the low unemployment rate among Hispanic Americans before the coronavirus pandemic, promising a quick recovery should he remain in office.

He claimed that Biden would institute a “nationwide lockdown” if he became president, an exaggeration of remarks that the Democratic nominee made earlier this year when he said he would follow the advice of health experts were they to recommend another shutdown.

“Joe Biden would terminate our recovery with a crippling nationwide lockdown and a $4 trillion tax hike,” Trump said, referencing Biden’s pledge to raise taxes on Americans making over $400,000.

The coronavirus has infected nearly 7 million Americans in total and caused over 200,000 domestic deaths. Studies have shown that the virus disproportionately impacts Black and Latino Americans.

In a statement released prior to Trump’s event, Biden criticized the Trump administration’s effort to get the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, the prior administration’s signature health care law, noting that a significant percentage of those in Miami-Dade County who receive coverage through the exchanges are Hispanic.

“Fighting to rip away health care during a pandemic isn’t leadership. It’s weak and it’s cruel,” Biden said. “My promise to you is simple: health care is a right, not a privilege, and a Biden-Harris Administration will work every day to expand access to quality health care for all Americans."

Trump insisted Friday that his administration’s actions in response to COVID-19 saved “millions of lives” and blamed the virus on China, where it originated.

Trump’s roundtable event in Doral followed an outdoor campaign rally in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday evening that was packed with hundreds of supporters. Trump is stopping in Atlanta for another campaign event on his economic agenda for Black Americans before returning to Washington, D.C.