Joe Biden Calls Out His Party At Dem Fundraiser in Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden told Florida Democrats the party needs to a better job reaching out to disenfranchised voters.

Speaking at the Florida Democratic Party's annual fundraising dinner Saturday night at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Biden attacked President Donald Trump without saying his name. He said last year's campaign unleashed a "coarseness" among voters that hadn't been seen in decades. 

Biden said Democratic candidates need to do a better job of showing fearful voters that the future is bright and that their party is the one offering solutions in education, health care and jobs.

Although Biden says he is not planning to challenge Trump in 2020, he acted like a potential candidate Saturday. He got laughs when he pointed out that Saturday was his 40th wedding anniversary, but he was spending it giving a speech because a new scheduler on his staff did not realize the sentimental date when confirming his participation.

Florida's three announced Democratic gubernatorial candidates agreed on most issues at the party forum, but got their loudest cheers when they called for ending 20 years of Republican rule in the state in 2018.

Speaking to 300 Democratic faithful Saturday at the state party's annual fundraiser in Hollywood, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham and entrepreneur Chris King all said the state needs to move away from the policies of Rick Scott and Jeb Bush by getting a Democrat elected governor for the first time since 1994.

All called for raising the minimum wage and re-emphasizing traditional public schools over charter schools.

Scott cannot run for a third term next year. The state's Agriculture Commissioner and former Congressman Adam Putnam is the leading Republican candidate, though his campaign has gotten off to a shaky start.

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