Monday, August 19, 2019

Bernie Sanders enlists the help of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for his 2020 campaign

Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, an adversary of President Trump who gained national attention after criticizing the administration’s slow response to Hurricane Maria, has signed on to be one of four national co-chairs of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign.

Her commitment to Sanders, who announced his presidential bid on Tuesday, comes as the Democratic field is growing and competition for high-profile supporters is intensifying. Cruz told NBC News in a telephone interview yesterday that she has working relationships with several of the senators who are running or may run, but she has been working with Sanders since 2016.

“A lot of the things he’s been fighting for all his life I’ve been fighting for all my life,” Cruz said. She also named Sanders’ efforts on education, collective bargaining, the rights of people in the LGBTQ and transgender communities, and other issues.

Cruz also said he has had a long commitment to being in the forefront of structural changes, even when they were not popular. “Right now, the United States has a president in the White House who is not up to the job,” Cruz said. “He does not represent values of integrity and unity, values of inclusion.”

With Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sanders co-sponsored legislation to wipe out the island’s $73 billion debt that it still grapples with today. Sanders also introduced a $146 billion Puerto Rico recovery plan. Neither bill made it out of committee.

Nonetheless, Cruz said in a statement that Sanders would offer “a new path toward the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico,” including a “new relationship” with the United States. “In our darkest hour, he was there for us, not because it was politically convenient but because it was the right thing to do,” Cruz stated.

NBC NEWS