Hillary Clinton campaigned in Florida this week for the fourth time since launching her presidential campaign, stopping in Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando, where she addressed a rally in the heavily Hispanic Meadow Woods area of south Orlando.
Orlando was the second of the three stops, where up to 600 people gathered at the Meadow Woods Magic Recreation Center to hear the Democratic presidential candidate speak for about an hour on a number of broad issues, from immigration to infrastructure. Clinton clearly understood that Meadow Woods is not only 65 percent Hispanic but, more important, it‘is 59 percent Puerto Rican.
Clinton mentioned Puerto Ricans or Puerto Rico about seven times during her speech, advocating for a long-term solution to the island’s fiscal crisis, which includes more than $70 billion in debt. (Congressional leaders were meeting the same day with Puerto Ricans who traveled to Washington for a National Day of Action to draw attention to the issue. Unfortunately, Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a plan to help the island get back on its feet, meaning that, sadly, no action is likely before the end of 2015.)
“Some people are starting to call this part of Florida the 79th municipality of Puerto Rico,” Clinton commented, adding that she had visited the island earlier this year, where she raised more than $500,000 in presidential campaign funds. “Any president should pay attention to Puerto Rico.”She invoked Puerto Rican megastar Ricky Martin, saying “Ricky Martin said to demand respect. We’re going to demand respect.”