Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his wife went on the offensive Monday in an attempt to do damage control after more than a week of protests on the island. But demonstrators didn’t seem to care: Hours later, they clashed with police, who used tear gas to disperse a crowd that threw bottles and rocks.
In a televised interview on Fox News on Monday, Rosselló was asked point-blank why he won’t resign, as the island’s protesters have repeatedly demanded. He tried to project that he understood why people were in the streets but that the best move for Puerto Rico was his continued leadership.
“I’ve seen the protests. I’ve heard the people talk. I’ve had a process of introspection,” he told Fox News’ Shepard Smith. “I’ve made a decision. I’m not going to run. I’m not going to seek reelection, that way I can focus on the job at hand.”
Rosselló’s wife, Beatriz, also tried to save face Monday when she visited a women’s shelter in Arecibo hit hard by Hurricane Maria. The island’s lackluster hurricane response has, in part, fueled the protests, as well as a trove of leaked messages between the governor and 11 of his confidants — one of which joked about feeding dead bodies to crows in the wake of the storm.
Rosselló has since apologized for the chats. Puerto Ricans aren’t convinced.
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