Democrats Blasted Trump for Scorning Puerto Ricans, Florida Unemployment Rising in July, Trump’s Attacks on Vote-by-Mail and More

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ICYMI: Biden, Democrats Blasted Trump for Scorning Puerto Ricans

This week, Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security official exposed, once again, that Donald Trump has no respect for Puerto Ricans. According to Taylor, Trump wanted to trade the island for Greenland and called the island ‘dirty.’ 

Donald Trump’s contempt for Puerto Rico has been laid bare throughout his presidency, manifesting in his cruel response to Hurricane Maria that devastated the island. This latest evidence of Trump’s disrespect immediately drew fire from Vice President Joe Biden, Biden senior adviser Cristóbal Alex, and Democrats across Florida. 

Orlando Sentinel: Biden, Hispanic groups condemn Trump after ex-official says he wanted to sell Puerto Rico“U.S. Reps. Darren Soto and Stephanie Murphy joined former Vice President Joe Biden and state Hispanic groups in blasting President Trump for comments a former administration official claimed the president made about selling Puerto Rico because it’s ‘dirty and its people were poor.’”

Florida Politics: Joe Biden, Democrats, blast Donald Trump over reported ‘Puerto Rico for Greenland’ idea“A former administration official’s claim that President Donald Trump called Puerto Rico ‘dirty’ and asked if he could trade it for Greenland drew blistering responses from Joe Biden and Florida Democrats.”

Miami Herald: Trump said Puerto Rico is ‘dirty’ and its residents ‘poor,’ says former DHS official“Biden’s campaign released a statement on Taylor’s interview, saying his retelling of Trump’s ‘clear animosity towards the island… can be summarized by disrespect for human life.’
‘His response to Hurricane Maria and continued reporting about his intent to sell the island in the aftermath confirm what we already knew: Donald Trump does not care about the people of Puerto Rico,’ said Biden senior adviser Cristóbal Alex.”

Orlando Sentinel: Trump quería vender a Puerto Rico porque “es sucio y su gente es pobre”, dijo exfuncionario de Seguridad Nacional“‘Es obvio que el presidente Trump ha estado intentando vender Puerto Rico, desde el primer día [en el cargo] , pero nunca creí que fuera algo literal. Eso hasta hoy. Perdimos 3,000 americanos allá a causa de su desastroza respuesta al huracán María. Ponle fin a esta pesadilla. Elije a Joe Biden’”, declaró el congresista de Florida Darren Soto en su cuenta de Twitter.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Florida Unemployment Rising in July 

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July unemployment report, exposing that unemployment in Florida rose to 11.3% in July. In response, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried released the following statement: 

“Donald Trump’s incompetent response to the coronavirus crisis has thrown millions of Floridians into economic insecurity — and his continued effort to downplay and distract from the pandemic clearly continues to cost Floridians their lives and livelihoods,” said Fried. “Meanwhile, because Trump refused to come to the table two months ago when House democrats passed additional coronavirus relief, Floridians lost their federal unemployment assistance and are once again facing eviction.
“Our unemployment crisis will persist until we have a leader capable of getting the job done and executing a national strategy to control the coronavirus. We need Joe Biden in the White House.”

Trump’s attacks on vote-by-mail may have cost Sarasota Republicans

Following Tuesday’s primary election, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports how Donald Trump’s attacks on vote-by-mail, and increased Democratic turnout have cost Republicans. Sarasota Democrats increased turnout from 31% in the 2018 primary to 42% in Tuesday’s primary election, while Republicans came up way short.

Key Points from article:

  • “The huge shift to vote-by-mail among Sarasota Democrats – and President Donald Trump keeping Sarasota Republicans from making the same shift – may have cost the former chair of the Sarasota GOP his School Board seat.”
  • “That remarkable turn of events shows how Trump’s attacks on mail voting may be backfiring on him in Florida, giving Democrats a possible advantage in one of the biggest elections in modern memory.”
  • “Turnout among Sarasota Democrats in Tuesday’s primary was nothing short of exceptional.”
  • Powered by mail voting, the big jump in Democratic turnout Tuesday negated the advantage Sarasota Republicans typically have in votes cast in the GOP-leaning county, which has 35,352 more Republicans than Democrats.
  • That Sarasota Democrats were able to shrink the GOP’s advantage in votes cast by 7,781 between the 2018 and 2020 primary likely influenced local races.
  • Yet not only did Robinson lose his School Board seat, but Republicans didn’t have a candidate advance in the Sarasota City Commission District 2 race, where there was a big push to get former Republican Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Barbetta into the runoff.
  • “Florida Republicans realized the damage Trump was doing in the state by slamming vote-by-mail and convinced him to reverse course and endorse mail voting in his new home state.”
  • “The question is whether Trump’s change of heart came too late. It certainly did for Robinson.”

ICYMI: “If Trump cares so much about Venezuelans in the U.S., why does he deny them TPS?”

Yesterday, Andres Oppenheimer’s weekly column in the Miami Herald highlighted the hypocrisy of the Trump administration’s baseless claim that they have been “generous” with Venezuelan exiles while refusing to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for those fleeing the Maduro dictatorship and detaining and deporting asylum seekers.
The Trump administration’s hypocrisy will be on full display tomorrow in Miami, where Mike Pence will visit for a photo op to tout the administration’s “continued support” for the Cuban and Venezuelan people. Yet, as Oppenheimer writes in his column, “few governments in the Western Hemisphere have been as selfish and cruel toward Venezuela’s exiles as the Trump administration.”

Miami Herald: If Trump cares so much about Venezuelans in the U.S., why does he deny them TPS? | OpinionBy Andres Oppenheimer | August 19, 2020 

“The Trump administration, still refusing to give asylum to at least 200,000 Venezuelans who fled their country’s dictatorship, now is making the bizarre claim that the United States has been more generous with Venezuelan exiles than have Latin American countries.”

“Sorry, but it’s the opposite: Despite President Trump’s justified public criticism of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, few governments in the Western Hemisphere have been as selfish and cruel toward Venezuela’s exiles as the Trump administration.”

“Last year, the Democratic-majority U.S. House passed a bill to give TPS to an estimated 200,000 Venezuelan exiles. But the Senate’s Republican majority did not approve a similar bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, and Florida’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. The Trump administration refused to actively push for TPS for Venezuelans.”

“In addition, at least 663 Venezuelan exiles were deported from the United States to Venezuela between June 2017 and May 2019. About 800 others are still in the United States with pending deportation orders, according to Foro Penal’s data.”

“Never mind that, as Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton says in his book, Trump’s anti-Maduro actions were just electoral politics to win the votes of Florida’s Cuban Americans and Venezuelan Americans in November. And, as Bolton told me in an interview, Trump may yet meet and pose in smiling photos with Maduro — as he has done with the dictators of Russia, China and North Korea — after the U.S. elections.”

“But for Trump to deny TPS to Venezuelan exiles is an act of cruelty, aside from being a monumental display of political hypocrisy. If Trump cares so much about Venezuelans, he should treat that country’s exiles as generously as much poorer Latin American nations have done.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki FriedStatement on Florida Surpassing 10,000 COVID-19 Deaths 

After Florida added 174 more COVID-19 related deaths Wednesday, surpassing 10,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried released the following statement:
“It didn’t have to be this bad. My heart is with the many Florida families as we mourn the loss of more than 10,000 Floridians who died at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic. Today is a solemn reminder that leadership matters. Let’s be clear: President Trump and Governor DeSantis have failed Floridians. Six months into this pandemic, the President still does not have a plan to fight the virus and our Governor continues to ignore the science, failing to take commonsense actions to protect Florida families and workers. And let’s not forget the devastating economic impact this pandemic poses on our state; the longer we go without a real plan to end this pandemic, the more pocketbooks of working families that suffer. On top of that, the Trump Administration continues to put Floridians’ health care at risk, working every day to dismantle the ACA in the courts and rob Americans’ of their health care in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Today is a somber reminder not only of what our leaders have failed to do, but also that those in elected office must do more to protect our communities and help Florida build back better. Joe Biden has a real plan to combat this public health crisis and get our state back on track. We cannot bring back these Floridians, but we must honor their memories with action and do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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