Democratic vice presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine told a small gathering of Hispanic faith leaders in Orlando that Hillary Clinton’s priorities for them include immigration reform, a fairer economy and respect.

His 15-minutes worth of public comments focused on the three areas where the Democrats feel they have an appeal advantage. And that included a hint for how the Clinton campaign portrays Trump’s attitude toward Hispanics.

“We need to build a community of respect, a community where all are respected,” said Kaine, who spoke in both English and Spanish

Kaine’s visit to the Iglesia El Calvario church in Orlando was his third of five Florida stops, and firsts of three in Orlando, this week. He began in Miami and Lakeland, and will appear at a debate watch party Monday evening thrown by the LGBT-rights Human Rights Campaign Monday night, and at a small get-out-the-vote rally at a Hillary For Florida office Tuesday morning.

Whether the gathering of 30 or 40 faith leaders from around the country, some but not all part of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition [plus Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson] may have heard what they wanted at the faith roundtable is unclear. After Kaine’s opening remarks, journalists were kicked out for the back-and-forth discussions that were to follow.

The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, told him the leaders wanted to hear about immigration reform and the economy but also were interested in issues including criminal justice reform, policing, sexual orientation and education equality.

Regarding immigration reform, Kaine said, “I hope that what will happen in this election is voters will look at two very different philosophies regarding immigration. Hillary and I offer comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship… keeping families together.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s philosophy, he said, is based on “mass deportation.”

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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