Politics & Government

Trump to give private Miami speech; don’t call it a rally

Donald Trump held his first — and so far only — local campaign rally last October at his Trump National Doral resort.
Donald Trump held his first — and so far only — local campaign rally last October at his Trump National Doral resort. adiaz@miamiherald.com

Donald Trump will deliver a speech at 2:30 p.m. Friday in his first visit to Miami in more than eight months.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee will speak at the Royal Poinciana ballroom of the DoubleTree Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center at 711 NW 72nd Ave. His campaign posted the event on the schedule portion of Trump’s website.

“This event is closed to the general public,” the site says.

Originally billed as a “policy speech,” with its topic unclear, the campaign later updated its site to say Trump will offer “remarks.”

Earlier, Trump plans to meet with a small group of local community leaders, including politicians and fundraisers, the Miami Herald has learned.

Trump’s trip comes a little more than a week before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He hasn’t been in Florida, the nation’s largest swing state and a key battleground for Republicans to win the presidency, since June 11, when he rallied supporters in Tampa.

Trump campaigned in Miami last October when he held a well-attended rally at his Trump National Doral golf resort. He scheduled another Doral rally two days before the March 15 Florida primary but called it off to spend more time in Ohio. Trump ended up losing Ohio but crushing his rivals in Florida, where he won the primary with 46 percent of the vote and forced the end of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s candidacy.

Rubio told CNN Wednesday he might meet Friday in Miami with Trump. Rubio’s office also said Wednesday that Rubio, who is now campaigning for re-election to the Senate, won’t attend the convention.

Miami, with its majority Hispanic population, has emerged as a cradle of Republican skepticism over Trump, who has repeatedly upset Latinos with his comments about Mexicans, a border wall and an Indiana judge of Hispanic descent.

Two of three local members of Congress — Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — have said they won’t vote for him (or for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton). Neither will Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez refuses to talk about the presidential race — but it’s Clinton’s campaign that’s trying to woo him, offering to let him meet Saturday with campaign manager Robby Mook, who will be in town to open a Clinton field office in Wynwood.

Trump has yet to inaugurate a Miami campaign office.