Shepard Smith Grills Puerto Rico Governor in Brutal Interview Amid Protests: ‘Who’s Left to Support You?’
The governor of Puerto Rico is under intense pressure to resign after leaked group chat messages that set off protests that continued into today. Governor Ricardo Rosselló has said he won’t run for reelection, but as of now he has no intention of resigning.
The leaked chat messages between the governor and aides include homophobic and misogynistic remarks, as well as mocking comments about Hurricane Maria victims.
Rosselló spoke this afternoon with Fox News’ Shepard Smith, who grilled him for almost 20 minutes on the nasty remarks in the messages and on why he won’t step down.
“The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico,” Smith said. “Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt, and a 13 year recession. In the leaked nearly-900 pages of profanity laced messages… you made light of the casualties of Hurricane Maria, you casually tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, you were calling the Puerto Rican former New York City council speaker… a whore.”
He ran down a list of some of the other ugly comments before asking, “Who’s left to support you? Is it even safe for you to continue to govern?”
Rosselló said he’s apologized and “making amends” for the comments he’s made.
Smith directly asked him if the buck stops with his office. Rosselló said he was elected by the people, but as Smith pointed out, there’s now a huge wave of people demanding he leave.
As the interview continued, Smith asked the governor if he’s directly to the people who were mocked and derided in the messages, including Maria victims and Ricky Martin.
“What will end these demonstrations as long as you’re still in office?” Smith asked.
Rosselló said he has apologized and wants to focus on “an effort for reconciliation.”
At one point, Smith asked him if he loves Puerto Rico. The governor said yes. Smith elaborated:
“If you see these hundreds of thousands of people who also love Puerto Rico and have looked at the governor’s office and said, ‘That’s a man who can no longer lead us.’ Because, governor, that’s what they’re saying today.They’re saying the way for us to move on is to start fresh. ‘We need new representation and we want the governor to resign,’ and they have protested for ten straight straight days. Today the largest demonstration potentially in the history of the island and you stand with firm resolve and talk about accomplishments. Do you hear them? Do you hear them and care what they are saying today? Or is the cavalier attitude from the text messages living in the background again today?”
“I hear them. It’s part of my introspection and I will continue to hear them,” Rosselló responded.
The governor also told Smith at one point that it wasn’t just him making these nasty remarks, it was his aides as well.
Smith said, “That’s true. I want to clarify that and I apologize. Because it was someone else who said, ‘Oh, I’d like to shoot the female mayor of San Juan,’ and then it was you who said, ‘Oh, you would be doing me a great favor.'”
You can watch the full interview above, via Fox News.
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