As Hurricane Dorian swirled through the Caribbean and approached Florida, Democrats were raging a storm of their own to attack President Donald Trump.
Many Democrats attacked Trump for using a slice of Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to support the construction of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane. @realDonaldTrump, stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York tweeted.
Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and Florida are bracing for a hurricane.
@realDonaldTrump, stop raiding disaster funds and work to ensure FEMA is ready to help these Americans. https://t.co/GPquHpVmwe
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) August 28, 2019
Mindful of the political controversy engendered after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in 2017, some Democrats early in the week focused on the destruction and devastation that would be hitting the island.
“As Dorian hits Puerto Rico, the Trump Admin seems to have learned nothing from its shameful failure in Hurricane Maria,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut tweeted Wednesday.
As Dorian hits Puerto Rico, the Trump Admin seems to have learned nothing from its shameful failure in Hurricane Maria. Fellow Americans on the island, still struggling to recover from Maria, apparently again will be denied the federal aid they need & deserve.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) August 28, 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined in the chorus of condemnation as New York State sent teams to Puerto Rico in advance of the storm’s expected landfall there.
“After President Trump and the federal administration shamefully treated the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens following Hurricanes Maria and Irma, New York State stepped up to help — and we’re doing it again now,” Cuomo said, according to the New York Daily News.
“The islands are still building back after the devastation of past storms, making them even more vulnerable to the impending hurricane.”
In fact, Dorian skirted Puerto Rico, causing no damage to the island.
However, Trump’s antagonists did not let that get in the way of their barrage against the president, attacking him as Trump announced on Twitter that federal agencies were ready to assist local agencies in Florida as the storm bore down upon the Sunshine State.
I am monitoring Hurricane Dorian and receiving frequent briefings and updates. It is important to heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. This is an extremely dangerous storm, please prepare and be safe! @FEMA @NWS @NOAA @Readygov @FLSERT https://t.co/Fee9EB1wQk
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2019
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2019
Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia said race was a factor in Trump’s concern for a state facing a massive storm and what he called Trump’s lack of concern to help the island that was not hit by Dorian.
“Well, part of it is that Florida could be a swing state in 2020. And part of it is Florida is not an island full of people of color. We have seen him, again and again, pick on anywhere color is involved,” he said, according to CNN.
Joe Lockhart, a White House press secretary under former President Bill Clinton, also said race was a factor in Trump’s decision making, Fox News reported.
“There’s no doubt that the president doesn’t view Puerto Rico as part of the United States. He doesn’t view people who didn’t vote for him as important. And he doesn’t view people who aren’t white as important as everyone else. That’s just — it’s that simple,” Lockhart said.
Lockhart did not address the issue of the vast Hispanic population in Florida or the fact that Miami’s Cuban population has been strongly pro-Trump.
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