Vice President Mike Pence is holding two Central Florida rallies Saturday, paving the way for President Trump to campaign in the region on Monday.
The first event was at Central Christian University in Orlando, where Pence addressed a Latinos for Trump rally of about 300 people.
“The choice in this election is whether America remains America,” Pence said.
Telling rallygoers that word of mouth is the best media, he urged them to tell friends and neighbors, “I ran into Mike, sitting in the sun, and he told me to tell you four more years means more jobs ... judges ... support for our troops and cops.”
He added, “It’s going to take four more years to drain that swamp.”
Pence was expected to speak later in the day at Brownwood Paddock Square in The Villages, a sprawling retirement community north of Orlando.
People began arriving hours before the first rally, held on the lawn behind the main building of the school on North Hiawassee Road. Mask wearing was sporadic, with many either not wearing one or hanging it to the side of their face. At one point as they waited, a chant of “Four More Years” rang out.
Robert and Evette Ortega, of Sanford, said they were glad the Trump campaign was continuing to hold in-person events despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We want to have some normality,” Robert Ortega said. “We want to be here and support the Trump administration the best we can, even though he got the COVID. But, you know, I see that they’re doing it the right way.”
“And I know that he’s doing the right thing,” Evette Ortega added. “And I know he’s truth, and he speaks the truth. He’s like one of us.”
Daniel Marquez, of Orlando, said he was there because Trump “has done a lot for the Latino community. He opened doors for a lot of immigrants to come in legally into the United States. He has done a lot of other things that pertain to immigrants.”
The Pence campaign swing comes a week after Trump’s planned rally at Orlando Sanford International Airport was called off due to the president’s positive coronavirus diagnosis. Trump has now rescheduled that rally at the airport for Monday night.
The Pence rallies are targeting two key voter demographics in Florida.
Trump’s camp says it has made inroads with Hispanic voters, as U.S. Sen. Rick Scott did in 2018. Polls, though, have shown mixed messages about whether former Vice President Joe Biden is doing less well with Hispanic voters in Florida compared with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Polls have also shown Biden winning the 65-and-older demographic, a big turnaround from 2016 if that holds. The Villages is the largest senior community in the country, spreading over Lake, Marion and Sumter counties.
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