Earlier this week, Florida’s Voice, For Florida’s Future, and other partner groups launched a clear message in 14-foot font to Florida motorists: Senator Marco Rubio is supporting the most bigoted, xenophobic, anti-Latino candidate in recent memory to be the next President of the United States.
The digital billboard ad, located next to the Palmetto Expressway exit for Rubio’s Miami Senate office, will run for four weeks, warning drivers about the danger of a Donald Trump presidency and the danger of the Florida Republican Senator’s outspoken endorsement of Trump.
“Sen. Marco Rubio may sell himself as more moderate on immigration, but Rubio and Trump’s policy recommendations are both quite similar in their potentially destructive effects on the immigrant community and our nation’s core values of openness and opportunity,” said Elbert Garcia, State Director for Florida’s Voice. “As Trump continues to surround himself with white nationalists of the alt-right movement and makes hatred a part of the campaign season, Rubio continues to lean in on the importance of making Donald Trump president.”
Recent Latino Decisions Florida polling shows that a majority of Latino voters are unaware (47%) that Rubio’s immigration position closely mirrors Trump’s platform. 58% of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for him if they knew that he supported Donald Trump.
To the disappointment of many, Rubio remains one of a shrinking number of Republicans who has yet to find a statement or position from Trump that he finds disqualifying.
“Donald Trump has a long sorry history of insulting, degrading and belittling women, immigrants, and people of color, and our senator Marco Rubio has endorsed him. I want to make something clear: in doing so he is legitimizing Trump’s hate speech and xenophobic rhetoric, and endangering the immigrant community as well as people of color,” said Ruth Moreno of iAmerica. “So we have a message for Senator Rubio: young people are paying attention. We’re paying attention to Trump and to all those who choose to stand by his xenophobia. Young voters were key in the 2008 election, they were key in the 2012 election and this November we will not let Trump and Rubio get away with this.”
Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda is also clear and unforgettable. The GOP nominee has promised to round up 11 million immigrants; ban all Muslims from admission into the U.S.; revoke birthright citizenship from 4.5 million citizens;”roundup Syrian refugees already resettled; and rescind protections for over 750,000 DREAMers on his first dayas President. Rubio himself has voted multiple times to end the DACA program and pushing for an aggressive security-first approach that would redefine most non-violent infractions as deportable criminal charges that also require minimum incarceration periods. Rubio has even voted to support Donald Trump’s proposal to strip funding from cities and counties with immigration friendly law enforcement relationships, a move that could have huge consequences for local economies and counties like Miami-Dade.
David Diaz of AFSCME Local 3292 reiterated that both Trump and Rubio have done very little to offer practical policies that help American workers. “Apparently Marco Rubio is going to stand behind Trump than standing up for us,” said Diaz. “Despite claiming to be fighting for working people, both Trump and Rubio has been as anti-worker as it gets. Both of them have been against raising the minimum wage, something that would help a lot of working families and mothers in Florida make ends meet.”
Maria Rodriguez of FLIC Votes noted that the changing faces of the Florida’s Latino electorate would not forget the disrespect that both candidates had shown the community and encouraged voters to come out early to let their voices be heard. “It’s very important to understand that the electorate is changing and Marco Rubio no longer represents all of us.,” said Rodriguez. “Because of that, we are urging communities to come out early, not just on Nov. 8, but starting Oct. 24. We need the diverse constituencies that care about immigration reform, that care about the minimum wage, that care about access to college, to come out to vote in large numbers and to vote early.”
“Rubio was the darling of the Tea Party in 2010, so it’s not a huge surprise he’s promising to be a rubber stamp for a Trump presidency and hoping to ride Trump’s Alt-Right wave to reelection after finding himself in a tough reelection fight for flip-flopping on multiple issues and clocking the worst attendance record in 50 years for a Florida senator,” said Blake Williams, For Florida’s Future Press Secretary. “But after Trump’s offensive and derogatory comments to nearly everyone including women,Latinos, African Americans, and even the disabled, you have to question why Marco Rubio is still embracing this guy when so many other leading Republicans have put partisanship aside. Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush and even the previous Republican Senator from Florida, Mel Martinez, have all put their country first and refused to support Trump.”
Other sponsoring organizations included Center for Community Change Action (CCCA), Immigrant Voters Win PAC (IVWP) and United Families.