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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

From the Fla GOP confab: 'Jeb should get behind Donald Trump'

Hundreds of Florida GOP activists and party officials are gathering in Tampa today and tomorrow for the republican Party of Florida's Quarterly meeting. The chatter is about rank and file activist getting behind Donald Trump as their nominee, but we caught a meeting of the party's Minority Engagement Committee that underscored many of the doubts about Donald Trump's prospects.

After Palm Beach County Chairman Michael Barnett alluded to "a perceived issue" that Trump might have a problem appealing to Hispanic voters, Hillsborough GOP Chairman Deborah Tamargo suggested the nearly one dozen members of the Minority Engagement Committee pass a resolution unanimously voicing their support for Trump. They did so, but it was impossible to pretend Trump's problem with minority voters is more than a mere perception issue.

Hendry County Republican State Committeewoman Margie Nelson, a Mexican-American native of Indiana, said many Hispanic voters won't even listen to the GOP message when it sounds like the Republican nominee might split families by deporting undocumemnted residents or generally disrespects Hispanics.

"There have been things that have been said by our presumptive nominee," Nelson said, "that have to be corrected in terms of messaging."

Barnett promptly redirected the conversation: "I'd like to keep it positive, and not attack our nominee."

We caught up with Barnett after the meeting for a quick chat on video:

 

[Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2016 6:27pm]

    

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