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Dems In Cleveland Running "Counter Convention"

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CLEVELAND, OH (CBSMiami) -- While this week and Cleveland may look like nothing more than a giant GOP pep rally, there are definitely opposing forces at play.

From protesters pushing for immigration reform, to Democratic Party leaders holding events throughout the city, it's clear the general election will be contentious.

"I will never, as long as I draw breath on this earth believe that a person like Donald Trump can be president of the United States," said Rep. Marcia Fudge, an Ohio Democrat, at a press conference with South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, says she's in Cleveland running a "counter-convention."

"We're here in Cleveland all week because we want to make sure we send a message to the American people that we're better than this," she told CBS4's Lauren Pastrana.

The congresswoman says you won't hear any hateful, divisive rhetoric at her party's convention to nominate Hillary Clinton for president in Philadelphia next week.

"You'll hear our speakers acknowledge that and talk about how we want to strengthen our economy together. And that we're stronger together and we shouldn't go in the direction the Republicans have proposed through divisiveness and poisonous rhetoric," she said.

Delegates to the Republican Convention will hear from Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Wednesday, along with Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

"I'm excited about Donald Trump as our nominee," Gov. Scott told Pastrana. "I want to do everything I can to make sure he wins in Florida and that he's our next President so I finally have a partner in the White House."

With the festivities halfway over in Cleveland, Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day of Broward says she's proud of what the convention has accomplished so far.

"We're just going to continue to build on the success of our candidate and what he's going to do for America and the next generation," Day told Pastrana on the convention floor.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz made it a point to note that not one former president is at the convention, but that President Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton will be at the Democratic National Convention, and possibly even President Jimmy Carter, depending on his health.

Senator Marco Rubio is not in Cleveland, but delegates will be hearing from him via video message Wednesday evening.

Click here to read more about Campaign 2016.


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