GOP official slams Trump rally in county waiting for hurricane relief

2224

Trump plans to hold a campaign rally in Florida, but residents would rather he give them the hurricane relief they need and deserve.

Trump's plan to hold a rally in a northern Florida county — which he won overwhelmingly in 2016 — is now being slammed by a local Republican official.

"As much as Bay County votes Republican, we don't need a political rally right now," Bay County Commissioner Philip Griffitts told NPR on Wednesday.

Trump plans to hold the first rally of his 2020 campaign in Panama City, located in Bay County. Griffitts is criticizing the rally because the region desperately needs federal funds to rebuild after Hurricane Michael hit the region last year. They are waiting on $250 million to be reimbursed for debris clearance, which accounts for 75% of the county's annual budget.

Trump is the roadblock to those funds, thanks to his continued attacks on Americans in Puerto Rico.

Congress has been working on a supplemental disaster relief package that would include the funds that Bay County needs, but Trump has insisted that funds in that legislation be reduced for Puerto Rico.

Trump's ally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has held the money up while waiting for Trump to make a judgment call.

Bay County is the latest example of a region that heavily backed Trump that is suffering because of his inept leadership.

Trump won 71% of the vote in Bay County in 2016, which was a key element of his narrow victory there. He ended up being only 1.3 points ahead of Hillary Clinton overall in 2016. The state went to President Barack Obama in both 2012 and 2008, and has been a perennial "battleground" in presidential elections.

As is true in most of America, Trump currently has a negative approval rating in Florida. His approval has decreased 24 points since he took office in January 2017.

Republicans in the heart of Trump country in a state vital to his reelection efforts are making it clear that they would rather he actually help them than hold another ego-stroking rally.

Published with permission of The American Independent.