Sunday morning talking heads
This morning *was* supposed to be devoted to tax reform on the Sunday shows but the deepening crisis in Puerto Rico plus POTUS’s insane decision to feud with San Juan’s mayor in the middle of it will complicate that. Pity Republicans like Paul Ryan, Mick Mulvaney, and Steve Mnuchin (is Mnuchin a Republican?), who were booked this morning to talk about marginal rates and deductions and will now have to do clean-up on Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets. Ryan is set for “Face the Nation,” Mulvaney will appear on “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday,” and Mnuchin is scheduled for “This Week” and “Meet the Press.” Mnuchin will also be grilled, of course, about Tom Price’s resignation and whether he thinks his own travel habits this year have made his job similarly precarious.
Following Mulvaney on “Fox News Sunday” will be FEMA chief Brock Long to discuss Puerto Rico’s recovery, although the star guest on that topic this week is arguably Marco Rubio. He’ll be on “Face the Nation” after Ryan. Rubio visited Puerto Rico this week and has been the most visible Republican in sounding the alarm about deteriorating conditions there. He’s tweeted about it for days, seemingly in deliberate contrast to Trump. That’s not just good policy but good politics: For all the hype about the strength of the Cuban-American voting bloc in Florida, Puerto Ricans now rival them as the state’s largest Hispanic group. They broke heavily Democratic last fall, with 72 percent voting for Clinton, which wasn’t enough to stop Trump in another very tight Florida election. But if that group tilts more heavily against him in 2020 — and if Puerto Ricans displaced by Maria end up settling in Florida, continuing a years-long migration trend — suddenly Trump faces a real risk of losing the state. Only once in the last 10 presidential elections has Florida voted for the losing candidate. The president had better be careful. The full line-up is at the AP.