Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been a fiery and persistent presence in the media since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.
She was asked by Public Radio International what her thoughts were on the contentious exchanges she's had with President Donald Trump. Her response, like pretty much everything she's said in recent weeks, was unfiltered.
"I don't give a s***," Cruz said.
Cruz's full comments
"This isn’t about me or politics. I’m not going to be the face you see out there just giving you a box of food for the photo op. I’m the face of the person who is going to make sure somebody gets that to you ... so like the last scene of "Gone With the Wind" — 'Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.'"
'If I were a Republican president...I'd be worried"
Cruz also had a warning for Trump and the rest of the Republican Party, saying the handling of the relief effort by the United States will have political repercussions.
“If I were a Republican president, and I never would be one ... I would be very worried,” Cruz said, “There is going to be an exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland. And Puerto Ricans vote Democrat. Anywhere they go, they will change the political landscape.”
According to USA Today, rumors are circulating that Cruz has her eyes on a run for governor in 2020. Her public profile has increased significantly with both her work in the relief efforts and her conflict with Trump.
Recapping the feud
- Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Hunt said she was very satisfied with the government's response to Hurricane Maria, and that it was “a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place.”
- Cruz, responding directly to that quote, said this: “This is, damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life or death’ story. This is ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.”
- Trump responded to the criticism on Twitter: “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump," he tweeted. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”
- Cruz, in television interviews, has sent messages to the president by way of T-shirts, one of which said "Help us, we are dying" and another that simply said "Nasty" in response to Trump's tweet.
(H/T USA Today)