Cuba, immigration, climate change — clearly, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders played to the Miami crowd at their debate Wednesday night at Miami Dade College.
Here, then, are some of the shoutouts to South Florida:
ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Mayors from 21 Florida cities — mostly from South Florida — wrote letters to the Democratic and Republican debate moderators imploring them to ask questions about climate change. Miami-Dade is ground zero for climate change. They got their wish.
Sanders: “Miami needs to combat climate change and transform its energy system.’’
Clinton: “This is Miami Beach’s battle to stem rising tides.’’
Maria Elena Salinas of Univision asked Sanders about whether he regretted his remarks from a 1985 video in which he said the U.S. was wrong in trying to overthrow governments in Latin America.
Sanders: “The key issue was whether the United States should go around overthrowing small, Latin American countries. I think that was a mistake— both in Nicaragua and Cuba.
“Cuba is of course, an authoritarian, undemocratic country. And I hope very much, as soon as possible, it becomes a democratic country.
“But on the other hand, it would be wrong not to state that in Cuba they have made some good advances in healthcare — they are sending doctors all over the world. They have made some progress in education. I think by restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba, it will result in significant improvements to the lives of Cubans, and it will help the United States and our business community.’’
Clinton: She stressed the importance of President Obama meeting political dissidents when he travels to Cuba later this month. The Obama administration and Cuba have tussled over this issue. “I think both Castros have to be considered authoritarian and dictatorial, because they are not chosen by the people.’’
She said she hopes one day democracy will be “deeply rooted on Cuban soil.’’
Of Sanders’ 1985 video statements: “That is not the kind of revolution of values I ever want to see anywhere.’’
Clinton: A comprehensive immigration plan with a path to citizenship will be a priority in her first 100 days .
Sanders: Would use his executive powers “to do what has to be done” and would expand the nation’s immigration laws.
From a questioner in the audience, now a single mom due to deportation, on what the candidates would do to stop deportations and reunite families?
Clinton: My priority is to deport violent criminals and terrorists. She said she doesn’t have the same policies as Obama, who has deported significant numbers of people during his tenure.
Sanders: Took Clinton to task for not supporting Honduran children fleeing from the violence in the Central American nation. “I did. The proof is in the pudding.’’