This morning, the Sunshine State will yield three noteworthy endorsements for Mitt Romney from Miami Cuban-American leaders: U.S. Reps Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, and his brother, former congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart
Romney snags backing of Florida Latino lawmakers
By Philip Rucker
Nov 29, 2011
MIAMI – When Mitt Romney visits a guava paste and papaya chunks wholesaler here on Tuesday, he’ll pick up endorsements from a powerful trio of Cuban-American Republicans whose support eluded him four years ago but whose political networks could help him this go around in the critical Florida primary.
Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, as well as his brother, former congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, are scheduled to endorse Romney’s presidential campaign on Tuesday morning in Miami, according to a Romney campaign official. They are expected to join the former Massachusetts governor when he discusses his economic plan at Conchita Foods, a family-owned local business that was started in Cuba but moved to Florida a few years after Fidel Castro took control in 1959.
Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers are joining Romney’s campaign as foreign policy advisers and members of his Latin American Working Group. Romney is trying to solidify his support among the state’s GOP establishment, in particular leaders of South Florida’s Cuban-American community, inadvance of the Jan. 31 primary. Romney has already won the endorsement of former senator Mel Martinez, another prominent Cuban-American politician, as well as a slew of current Florida office-holders.
In reporting on the new endorsements Monday night, The Miami Herald wrote that Romney had won “the ultimate Cuban-American endorsement trifecta.” The newspaper quoted a supporter of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, as calling the news “a major boost” for Romney because in the Miami area, “their support is crucial.”
(emphasis added) Full story here.
Statement from Romney:
“I am proud to be working with Ileana, Mario, and Lincoln,” said Mitt Romney. “They’re conservative leaders who will help me articulate my vision to make America more prosperous at home and respected throughout the world.”
Announcing her support, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, “The policies of the past three years have put America’s standing in the world at risk. It is time we had a president who understands that our country must lead. Mitt Romney believes that America is an exceptional nation and has a strategy to restore our country’s greatness. The Romney plan for economic growth will create jobs and opportunities for all, especially for South Floridians, who are passionate in their pursuit of the American dream.”“The world is a more secure place when America is leading boldly,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart. “We need a president who won’t apologize for America, but will work to secure free markets, economic opportunity, and human rights for all people around the world. Mitt Romney is that leader who will make America stronger and more respected in the world.”
“Mitt Romney is a leader who can rebuild our national defense,” said former Congressman Diaz-Balart. “Our country faces grave threats throughout the world. We need a leader who will stand up for American interests and work tirelessly for freedom and prosperity everywhere. I know Mitt Romney is ready to face these challenges and I proudly support him.”
(emphasis added )
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Was Elected To The U.S. Congress In 1989. She represents Florida’s 18th district and is currently the Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is the most senior Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mario Diaz-Balart Represents Florida’s 21st District in the U.S. Congress. Congressman Diaz-Balart was one of the founding members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Before being elected to the U.S. House, he served in both the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate. He was elected in 2002.
Lincoln Diaz-Balart Represented Florida’s 21st District In The U.S. Congress From 1993 Until 2011. During his time in Congress, he was the Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee. Diaz-Balart is currently the Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute.
To view Romney’s schedule in Florida today, click below the fold.
Mitt Romney Discusses Jobs and the Economy
6:30am – 7:30am
9115 Northwest 105 Way Miami, FL
Fundraiser – hosted by former ambassador Francis Rooney
10am – 11am
Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks on Trade Policy
2pm – 3pm
Tampa Port Authority Cruise Channelside Drive Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Fundraiser
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Tampa Museum of Art Tampa, FL
► Jayde Wyatt