Just days before Election Day, a new ad has Latin music singer Marc Anthony urging over 4 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland U.S. who are of voting age “to send Trump a clear message. … I urge all of you to join me and vote him out.”
“We remember the lies. We remember the disrespect. We remember you left too many of us to die,” the Puerto Rican artist said, in reference to Hurricane Maria, the deadliest U.S.-based natural disaster in 100 years, which led to the deaths of at least 2,975 people in 2017.
The ad is from the Lincoln Project, a political action committee of former Republicans opposed to President Donald Trump and working to elect Joe Biden. In addressing Puerto Ricans, the ad is targeting a growing voting bloc in key battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio that has seen a steep rise in Puerto Ricans who have left the island.
“Puerto Ricans came together to rebuild because we are strong and resilient. Puerto Ricans deserve better than Trump because we are better than Trump, better than his contempt, better than his neglect, better than his lies,” said Anthony in the ad.
The ad seeks to remind Puerto Ricans of when Trump opposed granting more disaster aid to the island after the hurricane and when he suggested selling Puerto Rico in exchange for Greenland, according to a former administration official.
“Time and again, we have found that the most persuasive arguments to make against Donald Trump are to simply use his own words against him,” Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson told NBC News in a statement, adding they are “grateful to Marc Anthony for lending his voice to this powerful ad and helping us make a powerful closing statement.”
Both presidential campaigns have been addressing Puerto Rican voters, with Trump recently touting new aid for the island, though it was mostly funds that had already been allocated by Congress but not disbursed. Biden has put out a platform on Puerto Rico, where he calls for the U.S. territory to get equal access to Medicare and food assistance, as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which the Trump administration opposes.
Biden holds a 66 percent to 23 percent lead with Puerto Rican voters in Florida, according to a Telemundo poll released Thursday, but he holds only a slim lead in the latest polls of the state and both campaigns are working to secure votes in the state.
According to the Pew Research Center, Biden holds a more narrow lead over Trump (54 percent vs. 37 percent) among Latino registered voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania, meaning that Puerto Rican voters in these states have a chance to play a decisive role in the race.