Republican strategist Rick Wilson warned that President Donald Trump’s desultory response to the Puerto Rico hurricane was risking the party’s future in Florida for years to come.
As many as 100,000 Puerto Ricans have fled the crisis in the U.S. territory for the nearest state, and hundreds of thousands more American citizens from the island could join them there — possibly for good.
That could transform Florida in many ways, but it could very well end its position as a crucial swing state — especially if Trump follows through on his threat to pull FEMA, military and first responders from Puerto Rico.
“Set aside the WH/FEMA happy talk, and look at the numbers of new Puerto Rican voters in FL in six months,” Wilson tweeted. “They were already inclined to vote Dem. They were already coming here due to economic pressures.”
He warned Republicans to distance themselves from the president’s insulting treatment of Puerto Ricans or risk electoral disaster.
“The situation in P.R. is desperate and he’s adding insult to many injuries,” Wilson tweeted. “Good luck being a GOP candidate who has Trumpstank all over you running in the places they move to in FL. (And they’re mostly moving to FL)”
6/ Pretty simple rule: you don't blame and insult the people who are victims of a natural disaster. Reap that whirlwind.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) October 12, 2017
The GOP strategist suggested Trump’s inadequate response might appeal to his racist base, but he said it could doom candidates trying to win a general election.
“And because he basically believes Puerto Ricans are Sea Mexicans and not American citizens,” Wilson tweeted, “he knows his base will think tossing paper towels is an adequate response to American citizens suffering desperate conditions.”