Democrats’ ads say Donald Trump failed Puerto Rico
Screen shot from DNC campaign ad.

Puerto Rico ad
Digital ads running in Orlando and Kissimmee area.

National Democrats have released a pair of new digital advertisements in Central Florida to remind how Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico three years ago and to declare that President Donald Trump “has failed Puerto Rico.”

The Democratic National Committee spots feature footage of the storm, the damage and Trump tossing paper towels into a crowd during his Oct. 3, 2017, visit to the island.

The Facebook ad will run in the Orlando and Kissimmee areas, the center of Florida’s Puerto Rican community.

A 15-second silent video for Facebook features those scenes and headlines from various news reports. They include a Washington Post story quoting Trump complaining that the commonwealth’s storm relief was costing the government too much money and a report as recent as Sunday when NBC News reported little progress had been made toward storm recovery, three years after the storm.

A 3o-second video released on Twitter features commentaries from television hosts and reporters, declaring utter disaster, both in terms of the storm and the federal response. The spot makes passing reference to the estimated 3,000 people whose deaths have been attributed to the storm, saying, “It’s unbelievable that thousands of Puerto Rican deaths went unreported for months and months and still are not part of the official report of deaths.”

The ads are running as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his campaign seek a strategy to energize support among the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans living in Florida.

Both Biden and Trump have been increasing efforts in recent weeks to reach Latino voters in Florida, an increasingly critical-looking bloc.

Last week, Trump announced he was releasing $13 billion for hurricane relief aid in Puerto Rico. That led Democrats and others to decry it as a political move, taken four years after the storm and 46 days before the Nov. 3 election.

“Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria was a disaster. He failed to provide the necessary support for Americans in need, and when pressed on it, lied and misled the public about his record. It’s simple: Trump failed Puerto Ricans,” DNC War Room senior spokesperson and advisor Lily Adams stated in a news release. “Thousands of Puerto Ricans are still suffering because Trump turned his back on them, and we’re going to hold him accountable for it.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • James Robert Miles

    September 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Trump has failed at everything but fascism and as Putin’s smuck! Puerto Rico is still suffering three years after the hurricane whereby Trump threw paper towels at crowds of desperate people, your perfect example of GOP “leadership.” Return sanity to America, DUMP TRUMP 2020!!

  • Sonja Fitch

    September 23, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    The good people of Puerto Rico ain’t stupid! They have made do because trump is stupid! Vote Blue! Vote Democrat up and down ballot!

  • Bruce Dullea

    September 26, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Ahhh, if you look things uo, you will see that it wasn’t trump that did anything wrong. Befire trump was even president, former president obama, sent them a couple billion dollars & come to find out, it was the governor of that state that used it for other things than what she was supposed to use it for which was to help the people rebuild. Alot of the people even said that they would never go back, because their government don’t care about the people & only care about themselves!! So before you start blaming trump, you better get your facts straight!! Trump just sent them $13 billion & even the whole government said that they will make sure it gets to where it’s supposed to be this time & not in their in the pocket of their governor!! By the way, you all forgot to mention, that when Obama was president, & they sent those containers full of things to help the people there, the containers were never used or even looked at!! They found them 3 years later just sitting there & everything in them were no good & had to be thrown away!! So again, before you blame someone, you better get your facts straight!! Don’t believe me, look it up!! Trump is picking up the mess that all the DEMOCRATS & other President’s have done wrong all these decades!!

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