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Third world country
Miami reinvites Tancredo
2nd Rotary Club offers lawmaker a forum after "Third World" remark
By Anne C. Mulkern
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated:12/15/2006 06:45:02 PM MST
Washington - U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo may soon have another opportunity to give a speech in the Miami area after an earlier talk was called off.
A small Rotary Club in Miami Beach on Friday invited the Republican congressman from Littleton, saying it wanted to give him a forum for his views.
"Let the fireworks begin," said Steven Shulman, who arranges speakers for the 23-member Rotary Club of Miami Beach.
Tancredo caused an uproar in Florida last month when he said Miami resembles a "Third World country."
Miami's Rotary Club, a different chapter, had invited him to speak Thursday, but the restaurant where Tancredo was to have appeared canceled the talk, saying his controversial appearance wouldn't be a good fit with a number of holiday parties that day.
Tancredo is interested in taking the Miami Beach chapter up on its offer if a time and place can be arranged, said his spokesman, Carlos Espinosa.
Tancredo made the Third World country remark a month ago in an interview while at a conservative conference in Palm Beach, Fla. Tancredo said he was referring to Miami's crime, low high school graduation rates and abundance of people who speak mainly Spanish.
Meanwhile, Tancredo issued a statement Friday challenging Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to post the speech Tancredo had planned to give Thursday on the governor's website.
The speech already has been posted on Tancredo's website, tancredo.house.gov/.
"I would like to give him the opportunity to show everyone just how much he truly supports the free exchange of ideas," Tancredo said.
Tancredo's statement comes in response to Gov. Bush telling the Miami Herald a visit by Tancredo "would have afforded him the opportunity to enjoy the city's many attributes and ... would have started a worthwhile dialogue on Florida's rich heritage and cultures."
Shortly after Tancredo made his Third World remark last month, Bush said of him, "What a nut."
The smaller Rotary Club extending the latest invitation to Tancredo said it isn't worried about the potential circus that he might draw.
"What the congressman has to say is worthwhile, whether you disagree with it or agree with it," said Bill Coffman, Rotary Club of Miami Beach president.
Coffman's group still needs to find a location for the speech, but was considering the city's convention center. The group would sell tickets to cover the cost, Coffman said. There could also be speakers who disagree with Tancredo on the program.