Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates joined calls for Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló to step down on Saturday as protesters continued to take to the streets to demand his resignation. Thousands have expressed outrage over leaked homophobic and sexist chat messages that appeared to show Rosselló making light of Hurricane Maria victims and insulting journalists. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) joined the protests in the capital of San Juan on Friday, and many other candidates followed suit Saturday and expressed support for protesters. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) expressed solidarity with the protesters, saying “they’re right to demand the new leadership they deserve.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who’s mother is from Puerto Rico, deployed the #RickyRenuncia (Ricky, resign!) hashtag and commended the creativity and resilience of the protesters, saying that “it’s about the people discovering the power they’ve always had.”
Former vice president Joe Biden said Roselló’s comments were shameful, and that “the people of Puerto Rico will be heard, and they will decide who leads their government.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said “Puerto Ricans have the right to democracy and all federal support to get out of the crisis.” Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Kamala D. Harris also tweeted support for the protesters on Saturday, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke.