While attempting to give a speech to an overwhelmingly Latino crowd at a downtown Orlando street festival this Sunday, Florida Senator and former GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio got booed off the stage.
According to NPR, several people in the crowd expressed anger over Rubio’s endorsement of GOP nominee Donald Trump, whose rhetoric demonizing Mexican immigrants left a huge impression on the nation’s Latino community.
When Rubio arrived at the festival, he was greeted without incident. But as soon as he took the stage, he was met with a spattering of boos which grew in intensity.
“I’m going to introduce a man who represents Latinos, no matter where you’re from,” the festival emcee said in Spanish as the boos grew louder. “Ladies and gentlemen, the senator for the state of Florida, a Latino like you and me … his name is Marco Rubio! Applaud!”
The boos then were so loud that they drowned out the few supporters Rubio had in the crowd.
“Thank you for having me today,” Rubio said in Spanish. “I want you to enjoy this day. We’re not going to talk about politics today. Thank God for this beautiful day, and for our freedom, our democracy, our vote, and our country. God bless you all, thank you very much.”
He then left the stage as the boos continued.
— Adrian Florido (@adrianflorido) October 23, 2016
[Rubio’s] appearance at Calle Orange seemed to be an embarrassing miscalculation for Rubio, who is locked in a tight race for re-election against his Democratic challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy. The most recent CBS News/YouGov poll of the race showed them tied among Florida Hispanics at 40 percent.
“Latinos might have differences amongst each other, but we’re also united as one,” festival goer Angel Marin, a retired Army sergeant of Puerto Rican descent, told NPR. “And when we have someone like Trump, who hits our Mexican brothers, our Latino brothers, then you jump on that bandwagon after all that stuff he says not only about you personally … as a Latino, you’re a freaking sellout. I would not vote for him if they paid me.”