Gore Won't Visit Florida Keys; Denies It's Because of Cuban Refugees

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:26 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore will be visiting South Florida on Monday, but a rally set for the Florida Keys will not be on his schedule. A spokesman for Key West, Florida Mayor Jimmy Weekley says it is not because of the Cuban refugees being held in Key West after their plane crashed in Gulf of Mexico near Florida on Tuesday.

"They (the Gore campaign camp) told us that it did not fit in their schedule at this time. Yesterday (Wednesday), between 4 and 5 (pm) is when they gave us the message that we would not be having the event here. And at that time, they did tell us it was due to a scheduling conflict. They did not mention the Cuban plane as a reason at that time," a spokesman for Mayor Weekley told CNSNews.com.

Weekley, a Gore supporter, also said, according to his spokesman, that Gore plans to focus on Medicare rather than environmental issues during his Florida visit next week..

Reports say that singer Jimmy Buffett is scheduled to appear with Gore during the Florida Keys rally. Some reports also say Gore is slated to give an environmental speech alongside Buffett, who is a Democrat and a longtime advocate of saving Manatees, a big environmental issue in Florida, as well as protecting the Everglades.

Gore will be attending a fundraiser in Coral Gables, a Miami suburb, on Monday. A Gore campaign spokesman says an appearance by the Vice President in Key West is still a possibility sometime before the November 7th election.

The Gore campaign did not return phone calls from CNSNews.com on Thursday seeking further comment.