While critics of President Donald Trump have slammed his response to Hurricane Maria in the wake of its devastating impact on Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory’s governor has a decidedly different take.
“It is Donald Trump”
The governor’s remarks came during a Spanish-language interview with Telemundo on Tuesday.
“I ask all Puerto Ricans who are listening to go vote,” she said, according to The Hill. “They have to go vote, exercise their right to vote, and evaluate who has represented being a person who thinks about Puerto Ricans and their needs at the most difficult moment. It is Donald Trump.”
Vazquez Garced also responded Tuesday to Trump’s controversial hurricane response, including photos of him tossing paper towel rolls to survivors. According to The Hill, she said that “nobody is perfect” and implored voters to overlook that unflattering image.
While Vazquez Garced was set to appear alongside Trump at a campaign event in Florida on Friday, that appearance was canceled after the president tested positive for COVID-19, The Hill reported.
Still, a statement from the Republican National Committee celebrated the governor’s endorsement as “further proof of the enthusiasm” that Trump has generated among Latino voters.
Trump gains support among Latinos
Some polls indeed show Trump has improved his standing among Latino Americans in general through his first term, including an NBC News report last month showing he had the support of roughly half of Florida’s Hispanic community. In August, a survey by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation found that he was supported by 38% of Latino voters in that state.
In 2016, Trump received 28% of the Hispanic vote, compared to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 66%, as reported by Pew Research.
Additionally, the president has gained support among Puerto Ricans after committing an additional $13 billion to help rebuild infrastructure devastated by the 2017 hurricane, as The Hill reported.
The Biden campaign, for its part, dismissed the move as “a desperate, political stunt to win over Puerto Rican supporters.”
Either way, every vote will be important in what promises to be a tight election — and the governor’s endorsement could not come at a more pivotal time for the Trump campaign.