CNN panel battles over claim Trump ‘clearly’ puts Fla. over Puerto Rico for electoral votes

(Video screenshot)

Puerto Rico is a haven for rampant corruption, whereas Florida is not. It’s a simple fact backed by copious evidence. And this, some argue, is why President Donald Trump has expressed far less enthusiasm about doling out more emergency relief funds to Puerto Rico versus Florida.

But according to Democrat Party strategist and CNN political commentator Maria Cardona, the real reason for Trump’s contrasting responses has to do with electoral votes and race.

Listen to her argument below:


Source: CNN

“The hurricane is now headed to Florida which … has nine Trump properties,” she said Thursday evening on CNN’s “Outfront.” “It also has 29 electoral votes versus Puerto Rico, where there are certainly three million American citizens which I think this president forgets conveniently. But they’re Hispanic. They speak Spanish. And clearly zero electoral votes.”

“And clearly I think there is not a coincidence in terms of the difference that this president has treated the American citizens living in Puerto Rico since two years ago with Hurricane Maria and then now when he blamed the island for being in the path of the hurricane in the first place versus how he is treating Florida.”

Some would argue that the president treated the Puerto Ricans with class and dignity. So much so that various mayors eagerly praised his relief efforts. So did then-Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

The only Puerto Rican figure that the president beefed with was San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, whom he derided as “incompetent” and “horrible” as per her incompetent and horrible behavior. This behavior included praising a convicted terroristdelaying relief efforts with her political posturing and allegedly “obstructing” critical supplies from reaching victims in need.

When offered the chance to respond to Cardona’s wild claims Thursday evening on CNN, right-leaning commentator Scott Jennings noted some of these exact same points.

“I think the president has well-known problems with the way Puerto Rico is managed, and any objective observer that Florida is a much better managed piece of land than Puerto Rico is..

Fact-check: TRUE.

However, allegedly objective fill-in host Jim Sciutto, who serves as CNN’s chief national security correspondent, quickly cut in to argue that Jennings’ point was beside the point.

“As a storm is barreling down, Scott, is that acceptable for the U.S. president to talk about it in those terms as the people are awaiting the approach of a devastating storm?” he asked.

It’s unclear why the proven corruption of officials in Puerto Rico shouldn’t be factored in when discussing potential relief efforts for the island state. Jennings completely ignored the interjection and continued with his argument.

“I think the president should treat everybody the same if you are an American citizen living in a territory we manage, but to argue that the president of the United States only cares about Florida because it is a state that has electoral votes, or to argue that he doesn’t care about Puerto Rico because it has Hispanic people — when 30 percent of Florida is also Hispanic — I think only the most mindless partisan would argue that,” he said.

To be clear, the president has never once failed in his duties to assist Puerto Rico. As noted earlier, he received widespread praise for his relief efforts in 2017.

But again, the facts seemed to be entirely irrelevant to Cardona.

Listen to her rebuttal below:

“What is the difference between Florida and Puerto Rico or, frankly, between Puerto Rico and Florida and Texas?” she said to Jennings. “It’s kind of obvious.”

“What is the difference, Scott? The difference is that Puerto Rico — most of the people there speak Spanish have brown skin are Hispanic and zero electoral votes. I’m sorry, those are the facts. If there is any other reason you can think of as to why the president treats the three million American citizens in Puerto Rico differently, and don’t tell me it’s because of the corruption from the leaders.”

In other words, don’t reply with the actual facts …

Instead of challenging Cardona, however, allegedly objective fill-in host Jim Sciutto decided to try and bolster her argument by bringing up the president’s treatment of Cruz.

“Let me quote the president’s words: ‘The Mayor of San Juan is horrible, I think she’s terrible, she’s so bad for her people,'” he said. “And then when he describes the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, ‘He has been a great governor.’ … I wonder, the difference in the language as the storm was barreling down, what explanation do you have for that?”

DeSantis has no history of corruption. Cruz, on the other hand …

“The administration of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (D), who made headlines for her criticisms of President Donald Trump’s handling of the relief efforts, is now being investigated for alleged corruption,” The Epoch Times reported in June of 2018.

“According to a local news report from El Vocero de Puerto Rico, the FBI is investigating several suppliers for alleged corruption in San Juan. It says the investigation was launched after former procurement director Yadira Molina filed a lawsuit claiming she faced punishment for reporting illegal activities to the local comptroller. The investigation has since grown to include several contractors.”

Then four months later, this happened:

But none of this seemed to matter to the left-wingers at CNN …

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Vivek Saxena

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