“’‘Despacito’ proved to me that in this country, we will never be defined by our differences,” said Louis Fonsi before inviting Biden to join him on stage. “Joe will always be there for Puerto Rico. He will never abandon us in times of need,” he added in an indirect stab at Trump who has done little to aid Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria.
“No matter who is president, Latinos and Latinas will always have a place here. But how much better would it be to have a president who celebrated our community instead of denigrating it?” Fonsi asked. Biden then came on stage and said, “I just have one thing to say,” before hitting play on his phone with Fonsi’s hugest hit blasting out to the audience.
“Depsacito” was made famous by Puerto Rican artists Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and is currently the most viewed video of all time on Youtube as well as one of the biggest crossover Latin music hits in history.
This moment went viral and many interpreted as his way of connecting with the Latinx community when polls indicated Latinx support is still lagging. An NBC-Marist poll released last week found Latinos in the state – where they make up a little more than 26 percent of the population – are almost evenly divided between Biden and Trump. Democrat Hillary Clinton led Trump by a 59 percent to 36 percent margin among Latinos in the same poll in 2016, and he won Florida by about 1 percentage point. However, a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday indicated better prospects for Biden in Florida. Biden is leading Trump in the state by 5 or 3 percentage points, depending on the level of turnout and it also found Biden up 58 percent-32 percent among registered Latino Florida voters.
— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) September 16, 2020
“I’ll tell you what, if I had the talent of any one of these people, I’d be elected president by acclamation,” Biden said, referring to Fonsi, as well as Ricky Martin and actress Eva Longoria, who also spoke ahead of Biden at the Kissimmee stop.
He touched on important topics including immigration saying he’d introduce a bill that provides a pathway toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants. “It makes no sense for us not to do that,” he said and committed to sending a bill to Congress on “day one” to make the DACA program permanent.
Operating on a platform that’s not only pro-immigrant but also a contrast to the Trump administration specifically in their views on the Latinx community as a whole.
“Donald Trump has failed the Hispanic community time and time again, and that’s not a secret,” Biden said. “Whether it’s in his heinous act of separating children from their families at our border, or his repeated attacks on Dreamers, or his neglect of the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, or his repeated failures to make sure essential workers have the personal protective equipment they need.”
Considering the role Florida played in the last election Biden is appealing to Latinx interests as well as our voting power. Latinos make up 54 percent of immigrant eligible voters in Florida, according to PEW Research.
“More than any other time, the Hispanic community, Latino community holds in the palm of their hand the destiny of this country,” Biden said. “You can decide the direction of this country.”