WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — President Donald Trump came to town promote the Republican $1.5 trillion tax cut package he signed into law.
Trump attended a discussion Monday with local business owners in Hialeah, joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon.
"Our Secretary of the Treasury, he's right there and our Secretary of Labor. Thank you Alex. Thank you Steve. Great choices. Not all of my choices were good, but they were great ones," he told the supportive crowd.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio was also at the discussion and had kind words for the president.
"You are finally doing what I wish previous administrations had done," Rubio said. "You are taking on the cheating and the stealing the Chinese have committed against our economy for the better part of 30 years."
One of the local businessmen at the event was Sunshine Gas Distributors owner Maximo Alvarez.
He spoke highly of the President and what the tax cuts have done for his business.
"It has freed a tremendous amount of cash flow so we can go and hire more people so that we can now incentivize employees to do better," Alvarez said.
When Alvarez was just 13 years old, he came over from Cuba without his parents.
He then started a business out of the trunk of his car.
"This is the only country you can do this," he said with tears in his eyes. "I hate to get emotional but…"
His story and courage was met with a standing ovation by the President.
Now, he's the president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors.
The benefits Alvarez is getting from this new tax cut package have not only allowed him to hire more workers, but he's been able to write off new equipment.
From one president to another, he says the bill isn't perfect, but it's a start.
"People say 'oh the new tax laws are only to help the rich people' and then they say 'these are crumbs.' "Well, if you're a clerk working for minimum wage at a 7-Eleven, a thousand dollars a month is a lot of money," he said.
Sunshine Gas Distributors Owner Maximo Alvarez Speaks About Attending Trump Roundtable
Trump touted the recent successful joint air strike in Syria.
"John Bolton is here and we just had a big successful hit. John that's pretty good I didn't expect that. I'm a little jealous. Are you getting all the credit? You know that means the end of his job. He did. Did you generals do a great job? Did our military do a great job? And you know, with way over 100 missiles they didn't shoot one down. Every single one hit its target," said Trump to a standing ovation.
This was the president's visit to Miami since he came to Little Havana last June to announce his Cuba policy.
Facing headwinds this fall, Republicans are placing their midterm election hopes on selling the benefits of the law to Americans.
Trump has sometimes chafed at scripted events, deviating from the planned message to discuss whatever is on his mind.
Trump plans to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago this week.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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