Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stopped in Southwest Miami-Dade with Sen. Marco Rubio as part of his effort to rally support in Florida, a key swing state in the November election.
Romney brought his bus tour to El Palacio de los Jugos Monday, where hundreds of supporters waited for him.
"The president said he would cut the deficit in half. I think it's immoral for us to keep spending our kids' future," Romney said at the rally. "If I'm president, I will actually cut spending and get America on track to a balanced budget."
The restaurant is owned by Reinaldo Bermudez. Court records show that Bermudez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine in 1999 and served three years in federal prison.
Media reports in November 1997 said that Bermudez was one of 12 people accused in a Colombian drug smuggling operation. Agents seized about 2,850 pounds of cocaine at Florida ports.
As a convicted felon, Bermudez wouldn't be eligible to vote in Florida unless the governor and the Cabinet restore his rights.
A phone call placed to the restaurant wasn't answered. The Romney campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Romney spent the morning in St. Augustine before heading to South Florida. He did both rallies without Rep. Paul Ryan, his newly announced running mate, who was campaigning in Iowa.
While Romney stopped in Miami, Florida Democrats held a rally of their own in Boca Raton.
Choice of Paul causes stir in Miami-Dade County
In the heart of South Florida Cuban exiles' fiercely Republican voting bloc, Romney's choice of running mates is causing a bit of a stir.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Congressman, has indicated support for keeping the half-century old U.S. embargo against Cuba in place, although, over the last decade, he has cast several votes in Congress to lift it.
"I think it's a slap in the face to the Cuban community," said Cuban-American voter Salvador Rodriguez.
So goes the perception the Romney-Ryan ticket will have to overcome in a community that considers Cuba policy a priority.
Ryan's past votes to end the embargo were prompted by economic concerns, not political concerns. According to the U.S. Trade and Economic Council, Midwestern farmers and growers have financially benefited from more than $3.5 million worth of food and agricultural products legally sold to Cuba last year alone, even with the embargo in place.
Some of South Florida's most prominent exile leaders and Cuban-American lawmakers are counseling their newly minted candidate on campaigning to their constituency.
"I think Paul Ryan will be reeducated and I think Paul Ryan obviously is going to be more in tune to the Cuban American vote and the Cuban American struggle," said Gustavo Barreiro, a Republican candidate for Florida's statehouse.