Republican Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney came to Miami last night to raise funds for his Presidential campaign, as part of the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.
Disclaimer: I was there with my girlfriend. Lest you think this means I am awash in cash, we were invited guests. I should also add I went there as a “regular Joe,” and not as a “blogger” or “cyber-journalist.”
I personally agree with most of his stands on the issues, especially on Cuba, where he defended the embargo against Castro earlier this week on WIOD radio (unfortunately, I couldn’t find the podcast of the interview this morning) by noting that we needed to keep our money out of Castro’s pockets.
The one issue of contention with Governor Romney for some of the Cuban community is his strict stance on illegal immigration, although I would dare say most Cuban-Americans agree with him on most of the issues. But of course, this is what the Miami Herald focused on in their write up about the event, titled “Miami cool to Romney’s stance”:
But the Cuban-American politicians Romney reached out to in his speech don’t agree with his strict stance on illegal immigration.
Sen. Mel Martinez and U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln DÃaz-Balart all support efforts to allow illegal immigrants to work toward citizenship.
Romney has said such legislation — sponsored last year by rival John McCain — amounts to “amnesty.”
After the speech, when reporters asked him about his immigration policy, Romney said he advocates tighter border control and ”employment identification cards” so businesses don’t hire illegal immigrants.
Some Republican leaders at the event said his positions could alienate Miami-Dade’s influential Hispanic population.
I remember Governor Romney getting warm applause and a few standing ovations during most of his speech. The room went quiet–you could almost hear a proverbial pin drop–when he talked about Cuba. In fact, the only time I remember people not applauding was when he briefly touched upon illegal immigration in his speech–and they certainly didn’t boo or grumble then, either.
I can’t predict how Cuban-Americans will vote (only myself) and I can’t speak for anyone else. But I can say that having been there to listen to Governor Romney myself, I think it wasn’t fair for the Herald to focus solely on the illegal immigration issue and give their article such a misleading title.