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Trump Roasted After Telling Puerto Ricans They 'Better Vote For Me' During Campaign Rally

Trump Roasted After Telling Puerto Ricans They 'Better Vote For Me' During Campaign Rally
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump has a less than stellar history with Puerto Rico, most notably in his disastrous response to Hurricane Maria, which all but leveled the island. Video of him throwing paper towels at desperate Puerto Ricans will probably follow him around for the rest of his life.

Nevertheless, Trump devoted part of his Orlando rally speech on Monday to extolling how great a president he's been to Puerto Ricans and insisting they "better vote for" him in November.

There are many problems with the premise, but one of them is far more substantial than the others and really stands out as particularly insurmountable: Puerto Ricans who live in Puerto Rico don't get to vote in federal elections.

Puerto Rico does not get to vote because it is not a state, but rather an unincorporated U.S. territory.

In fact, the island has no representation in the federal government at all, beyond a non-voting advisory seat in the House of Representatives. Despite this, residents of the island still pay most federal taxes that mainland citizens pay.

Many believe that this secondary and unrepresented status contributed to Donald Trump's neglect of the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria in 2017, the death toll of which is still not known with certainty due to a lack of resources provided by the U.S. government and Trump administration in the aftermath.

There have been many calls for Puerto Rico to be granted statehood over the years, and the GOP has even included the concept in its 2020 political platform.

But party leaders have widely opposed it on the assumption that its population would vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates. They're probably correct: In 2016, more than twice as many people voted in the island's Democratic presidential primary as its Republican primary.

Regardless of whether Puerto Rico gets to vote for president in the future, it won't get to in 2020--and people on Twitter couldn't help but laugh at the President's ignorance.

And many Puerto Ricans who do live on the mainland and are able to vote were very vocal about their intentions to vote for his opponent.

Looking on the bright side, at least Trump didn't call Puerto Rico "dirty" and "poor" and try to swap it for Greenland, as he reportedly proposed in 2018.