MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – Former Vice President Joe Biden is in South Florida and made his first stop at the University of Miami on Tuesday.
Biden spoke with students about ending campus sexual assault and gender based violence during the “It’s On Us” rally.
Later Tuesday Biden will meet with Latino leaders at an intimate fundraiser in Miami, according to an invitation obtained by CNN, giving the prospective 2020 candidate important face time with key Latino leaders in South Florida.
As Democrats grapple with how to run for office in states President Donald Trump won handily, Biden has sought to burnish his credentials as one of the only national Democrats able to campaign in Trump country.
He recently campaigned for Democrat Conor Lamb in a Pennsylvania district Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016 and recently spent time campaigning for endangered red-state Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota who are both up for reelection in 2018.
Tuesday’s fundraiser for the Latino Victory Fund also shows Biden is looking to make inroads with key Democratic constituencies that have helped elect Democrats for years.
The Miami event is billed as an “intimate conversation and lunch” with Biden and will include roughly two dozen Latino power brokers who would be key to a possible presidential bid, a source with knowledge of the gathering told CNN.
A spokesman for Biden confirmed that he would attend the fundraiser and described the meeting as “an opportunity for Vice President Biden to have a candid conversation about the issues impacting the Latino community.”
Biden will also speak about ending campus sexual assault at an event at the University of Miami on Tuesday.
Raúl de Molina, the influential Cuban Univision personality known as “El Gordo,” and Millie de Molina, his wife, are expected to attend, the source said, as well as Luis A. Miranda, Jr, a powerful Puerto Rican lobbyist and former government official in New York City. Miranda is the father of “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Debbie Mucarsel Powell, a Democratic candidate for Florida’s 26th district, will also attend, the source said, as will Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Democratic candidate in Florida’s 27th district.
Powell is looking to run against Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in a district Hillary Clinton won by 16 points. And Rodriguez is looking to replace Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Florida’s 27th District, who is retiring from the district that went for Clinton by 20 percent.
Biden, who considered running for president in 2016 and has said he now regrets not running, has left the door open to running in 2020.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report)