A showdown of presidential hopefuls rocked the Sunshine State as both Republican and Democratic candidates spoke Friday at the 2015 National Urban League Conference.
It was a rare appearance by candidates from both sides of the aisle, coming together under one roof. Five presidential candidates spoke Friday in Fort Lauderdale, addressing an audience made up mostly of African-American voters.
"You can't serve all the people unless you represent all the people," said Republican Jeb Bush, touting his record as Florida governor.
"Those of us who have not experienced systemic racial inequities, we have an extra obligation," Democrat Hillary Clinton told the audience, addressing one of the conference's main topics — racial inequality — which has fueled debate across the nation.
Hillary Clinton addresses the National Urban League conference. (Arnie Girard, Staff)
Clinton even mentioned the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin in her speech.
"Too many times now Americans have come together in shock and horror to process a violent senseless tragedy, like Trayvon Martin, shot to death."
The 17-year-old Martin was killed during a struggle with George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder in 2013 after arguing he shot the teen in self-defense.
"When President Obama says that, quote: 'For too long we've been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present,' he is speaking the truth," Bush admitted.
Other speakers Friday included Republican Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who focused on education, and put a rumor to rest about his desire to cut Medicare.
"I have no desire to get rid of safety nets for people who need them," Carson said. "I have a strong desire, however, to provide a ladder to get people out of dependency."
Democrats Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders focused on racial inequality. Sanders went on to talk about another controversial issue: The use of force in law enforcement training.
"Force should be the last resort, not the first resort," the Vermont senator said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses the National Urban League conference. (Arnie Girard, Staff)
"We have moved toward more equal justices under the law, but we are not there yet," said O'Malley, the former Maryland governor.
The theme for this year's conference was #SaveOurCities, with a focus on education, jobs and justice, something voters got to hear about straight from the candidates, themselves.
Another big name from Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio, was unable to attend this year's conference because of a scheduling conflict.
The conference marks the first time in the 2016 presidential race that Clinton and Bush are set to appear at the same event. The only other GOP presidential candidate scheduled to appear is its only black candidate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
After the conference, Clinton headed to Miami to call on Congress to lift the Cuban embargo.