Appearing on CNN Saturday morning, former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) lectured Puerto Rico hurricane victims on self-sufficiency saying they “need to take care of themselves.”
Asked about San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz requesting help for the American territory after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria, Bauer said “I’m a state’s rights guy.”
“Look, I believe the federal government has a role and responsibility to come in and help, but local leadership is supposed to lead, not the federal government, and so it really falls on the backs of the people that have been elected, and make no mistake, resources have been given,” Bauer said about the catastrophe. “Eleven major highways cleared, 10,000 people down there, you’ve got on the ground a four-star general, 11 points of distribution, 500 gas stations with gas, air-dropped supplies in places where they can’t get to major hubs, $40 million available right now, so things have been done.”
“The federal government has come in, but my feeling is the federal government’s role is not to come in and take over,” he continued. “As a local guy that’s served in local elected office, I wouldn’t want the federal government to ever come in and take over.”
Addressing the squabble between Trump and Mayor Cruz, Bauer sided with the Republican president.
“Well keep in mind the mayor is the one that actually struck first,” Bauer explained. “Here the president is doing everything he can, two other major catastrophes. My house was flooded four feet, I helped myself. I realized theirs is much worse than mine, but I think the mentality too often is to turn to Washington every time you turn around, and local leadership needs to take this by the horns.”
“If the federal government comes in and helps, that’s great. But again, this is a territory, they have to take care of themselves and we have given them an unbelievable amount of supplies, but to fault the president when he’s personally coming down on Tuesday, sent members of his staff, wait a minute, we want a full understanding before we immediately send funds down there,” he added.
Watch the video below via CNN: