The Real Ron DeSantis “Applauded” Donald Trump’s Horrific Response to Hurricane Maria
In an election year stunt, Ron DeSantis is trying to style himself as a friend of Puerto Rico.
His record though tells a very different story.
Last year — during the island’s darkest hour — DeSantis sided with Donald Trump over the people of Puerto Rico. In September 2017, DeSantis issued a press release praising the Trump administration’s widely condemned response to Hurricane Maria. DeSantis literally “applauded[ed]” Trump’s gross mishandling of the crisis in Puerto Rico. Nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in the months after the hurricane.
In August, DeSantis also said he would do nothing as governor to help the thousands of Puerto Ricans in Florida who are on the verge of losing their housing because it is a ‘federal responsibility.’
In September 2017, DeSantis “Applaud[ed] the Trump Administration” for Its Hurricane Maria Response in Puerto Rico. According to a press release from Rep. DeSantis’ office, “Washington, DC – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06) issued the following statement regarding recovery efforts in Puerto Rico: ‘Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico and left a startling degree of destruction in its wake. I applaud the Trump administration for quickly deploying assets to the island.” [Rep. DeSantis press release, 9/26/17]
DeSantis refused to commit to Funding Temporary Assistance for Puerto Ricans with state money. In an interview with Orlando NBC-affiliate WESH, the following exchange occurs:
WESH: If you’re elected governor and these people from Puerto Rico are still here and their federal emergency funding for shelter runs out – should Florida, under the next governor’s leadership, be helping to provide them shelter?
DESANTIS: It depends what resource we have, but I would say, I mean, this is a federal responsibility. And so I would work with the federal government. Part of the reason why I think it’s important to have a good relationship with the president is because Florida interacts with the federal government on a lot of things.” [WESH, Extended Interview With Gubernatorial Candidate Ron DeSantis, 8:00, 8/7/18]