POLITICS

Citing Dallas killings, Trump cancels anticipated Miami meeting with Latino leaders

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he addresses supporters during a campaign stop at the Trump National Doral Miami resort, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he addresses supporters during a campaign stop at the Trump National Doral Miami resort, Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)  ((AP Photo/Alan Diaz))

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump canceled what was to be his first outreach effort to Latino leaders in Miami Friday, citing the murders of five Dallas police officers and the wounding of seven others.

Trump was to meet with some 20 Latino leaders – many of them Cuban-Americans – at the iconic Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana.

One of the latest names to be confirmed as an attendee was Sen. Marco Rubio, who ran in the GOP presidential primary and withdrew from the race after Trump won Florida, Politico reported. The only Florida county Trump lost was Miami Dade, which Rubio won and where Versailles is located.

Trump planned to deliver a speech titled "Succeeding Together" in Miami, home to the largest Cuban-American population in the U.S. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also ran in the GOP primary but withdrew and then endorsed Trump, was to have accompanied the mogul on the Miami trip.

It is unclear whether the meeting, which was to be private, will be rescheduled.

The real estate mogul is facing deep unpopularity among Hispanic voters. Polls of likely Latino voters show that Trump has an unfavorability rate of more than 80 percent.

In his planned Miami speech, Trump was expected to touch on President Barack Obama's historic decision to normalize relations with Cuba, emphasizing the country's poor record on human rights.

Last year, Trump said he agreed with the concept of opening ties, breaking step with many of his primary rivals. But, he told the Daily Caller, "I think we should have made a stronger deal."

In a tweet shortly after the Dallas police killings, Trump offered "Prayers and condolences to all of the families who are so thoroughly devastated by the horrors we are all watching take place in our country."

Five Dallas police officers were killed after sniper fire broke out while hundreds of people protested fatal police shootings of two black men earlier this week in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also curtailed campaigning plans for Friday.
Clinton canceled an event planned for Friday with Vice President Joe Biden in his hometown of Scranton, Pa.

Trump issued a statement that was much more measured in tone – and presidential sounding – than his reaction to last month's Orlando nightclub massacre. After the Orlando killings, Trump congratulated himself for what he described as his foresight in predicting terrorist attacks.

On Friday, he decried the Dallas killings, mentioned the killings of black motorists earlier in the week in Louisiana and Minnesota, and called for law and order, and said it is a time "perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies."

Clinton said on Twitter that "I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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