The Walkway of the Presidents, or Paseo de los Presidentes, near the capitol building in San Juan is graced by nine bronze statues of presidents: the nine who visited Puerto Rico as sitting presidents. Built in 2010, the statue installation honors presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama.
From the 26th president to the 44th, only nine made official visits to the territory: Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama.
A tenth president visited Puerto Rico since Obama, however: President Donald Trump. He visited the Island on October 3, 2017. It is expected that Puerto Rico’s current Senate President Rivera-Schatz and House Speaker Carlos “Johnny” Méndez will eventually arrange for an official statue of President Trump.
However, the austerity efforts of Puerto Rico’s government make paying for the statue impossible at this time.
Accordingly, the College Republican Federation of Puerto Rico started a GoFundMe crowdsourcing page to raise the $45,000 required to create the same kind of representation for President Trump as for the nine presidents who visited in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
This video from the Daily Caller presents the College Republican’s support for President Trump and explains the reason they chose to mount this fundraising campaign.
“President Trump visited Puerto Rico in its greatest time of need, in the immediate
aftermath of Hurricane María,” the explanation on the GoFundMe page says. “During the first six months following the disaster, total FEMA funding for Puerto Rico reached $9.9 billion, more than the entire annual budget of the island’s central government.”
Describing the response of President Trump to the devastation of Hurricane Maria as “extraordinarily attentive and generous,” the College Republicans and their fundraising partners, the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Virginia, invite “patriotic Americans in Puerto Rico and throughout the nation” to help bankroll the statue.
“It is also worth keeping in mind,” they continue, “that the statues in Puerto Rico’s Walkway of the Presidents do not represent an official endorsement of the policy record of each of the various Presidents, but rather simply commemorate the historical fact of their visits to the United States of America’s largest remaining territory.”
The campaign is seeking $45,000 based on the $25,000 cost of each of the current statues, and the assumption that there will be additional costs involved beyond merely commissioning the statue. As of this writing, 107 people have donated a total of $6,674 over a period of three months.
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