Presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., made the typical campaign stop today for any aspiring office-holder looking to court Cubans in Miami: Versailles Restaurant. Mixed with her now-typical stump speech, Bachmann spoke about her trip to the Bay of Pigs Museum earlier in the day and she described “the Communist Castro brothers” as one of America’s enemies.
Bachmann told a packed room at the busy Cuban restaurant that she “wants to win Florida twice.”
“Florida chooses presidents,” she said.
Bachmann spoke to a group of journalists and South Florida GOPers who clapped and cheered after Bachmann’s shots at President Obama and calls for cutting federal programs. She told the crowd that, unlike the president, she would not have any “czars” or teleprompters in “her White House.”
Cuban-Americans in Miami typically respond well to anti-government rhetoric — as well as anti-communist, anti-socialist, and anti-Castro rhetoric. Besides her frequent criticism of federal health care reform and financial regulations, Bachmann used the opportunity to try to win the crowd by criticizing Obama’s limited Cuba-related policy history.
“It was wrong of Obama to weaken sanctions against Cuba,” she said. “I would not do that.”
GOP legislators in Miami typically use a hardline policy on Cuba as a way to garner votes from an older group of Cuban immigrants in South Florida. Because many receive political asylum from the United States, in the past they have represented a strong voting block in Miami.
“The Cuban-American vote is extremely important in this election,” Bachmann said. “They get liberty. They get freedom.”
She said that she visited the Bay of Pigs Museum as her first stop in Miami because it was the perfect example of fighting for freedom.
“The Cuban people are beautiful, sweet people,” she said. “They want Cuban people to be free.”