Mayor of San Juan: I would hope that Trump “stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico” https://t.co/n4fnOLYMEo
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 3, 2017
True to his word, Donald Trump paid a visit to Puerto Rico — which he previously described as an “island sitting in the middle of an ocean, and it’s a big ocean” — on Tuesday. And to the surprise of absolutely no one, the president immediately put his (and others’) feet in his mouth repeatedly, saying things like the U.S. territory’s tragedy had set the budget “a little out of whack” and other gems. While he subsequently busied himself throwing much-needed supplies into crowds and telling survivors to “have a good time,” CNN caught up with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to see what she had to say about the visit.
Unsurprisingly, Cruz didn’t hold back her criticism of Trump’s budget comments. “I would hope that the President of the United States stops spouting out comments that really hurt the people of Puerto Rico,” she said. “Rather than [being the] Commander-in-Chief, he sort of becomes Miscommunicator-in-Chief.” Cruz quickly became a household name in the mainland U.S. when she repeatedly berated the Trump administration for not doing enough (nor quickly enough) to aid Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria’s devastation. This inexplicably, but not unsurprisingly, inspired Trump to lash out at her multiple times.
“It just goes to prove [his] lack of sensibility,” Cruz said of Trump’s comments on Tuesday, including his downplaying Puerto Rico’s distraught status compared to a “real catastrophe like Katrina.” “You’re coming to a place where people are expecting you to be comforting. They’re expecting you, frankly, to speak as to which actions are going to happen… When I heard him say, and I quote, ‘Puerto Rico you have thrown our budget out of whack for all the money we have spent here,’ it doesn’t make you feel good. This is about two things. It’s about respect for the Puerto Rican people, and it’s about saving lives.”