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Could Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos be Biden’s biggest fan in RI?

In World
July 10, 2024
Could Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos be Biden’s biggest fan in RI?

PROVIDENCE — Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos is not on the ballot this year, but she’s been out on the campaign trail whipping up votes for Joe Biden in both Las Vegas and Philadelphia — and on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

In fact, she has emerged as one of the president’s biggest social media fans, posting this days after his disastrous debate against Donald Trump: “Joe Biden is the leader we need right now to defend our democracy!! Please Retweet!!” And this past Sunday: “Please tell the President we are with him. #TeamBiden.”

President Joe Biden, with Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos after delivering remarks at a Black Americans for Biden event at Girard College in Philadelphia on May 29.

President Joe Biden, with Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos after delivering remarks at a Black Americans for Biden event at Girard College in Philadelphia on May 29.

Where has she been? Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 29, and Las Vegas on Saturday, June 1.

Why these events? As Matos, who identifies as “Afro-Latina,” explains it, she was invited to both events by the Biden-Harris campaign to help rally swing-state voters of color.

In Pennsylvania, she attended a rally with the president and vice president and held Spanish-language interviews with Telemundo and Univision affiliates.

In Las Vegas, she was on the speaking program at a “block party” outside the Doolitle Community Center, along with U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, U.S. Reps. Steven Horsford and Maxine Waters, Nevada Atty. Gen. Aaron Ford and a number of other local officials. She also did an English-language interview with a local radio station.

Why her?

Matos says she’s been active with both the National and Democratic Lieutenant Governors Associations and believes she is the “first” Afro-Latina elected statewide in the country.

The first time the Biden campaign reached out was for Philadelphia: “They were putting together an event to engage Black voters, Black voters for Biden. … While I was in Philly. I also did some of the media, especially the Spanish media … talking about the importance of getting the Black vote, the Latino vote active and engaged in this election.

“Then they reached out a second time to go to Nevada, which is one of the battleground states … [and] has a strong, large Black population, also a Latino population.”

At each stop, she delivered her stump speech: “The short version is that President Biden and Vice President Harris [have] delivered for the American people.”

She cites promises kept “to give us relief from student loans …, pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill [which] Trump promised and didn’t deliver… and make sure that our medical bills are not counting towards our credit scores … So every promise that they made, they deliver[ed] on that.

“That’s part of my message,” she said. The other part, she said, is to remind “new immigrants” — as she considers herself as an emigre from the Dominican Republic — and “those immigrants that have been here for generations that this is a great country.”

“I think that new immigrants can play the key role this year reminding people what it’s like having to leave your country, running away from bad government.”

The debate

Most of the Rhode Island Democrats headed to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next month were advised by state Party Chair Liz Beretta-Perik not to talk to the media so they would, at all times, display a “united front,” according to one of the attendees at a June 25 delegates’ meeting.

Matos is not a delegate to the convention.

Asked what she made of Biden’s performance on the debate stage, Matos told The Journal on Tuesday: “The first 30 minutes, I was very concerned like everybody else,” but “I think after he got his message across, one of the things that I feel has been lost … is how much Trump lied during that debate.”

For the record: multiple news organizations have identified misstatements and exaggerations by both candidates.

But Matos said the media has not given “enough coverage to all of the lies that he [Trump] said in those 90 minutes. I know, it was a really tough 90 minutes, but that doesn’t … erase the work that the president has done in the [last] three and a half years.”

Does she have ny concerns about his age, his health? Simple answer: no.

“What happened during the debate was unfortunate,” but as a candidate who went through the grueling prep – and the stress on the debate stage – during her ill-fated run for an open Congressional seat last year, she said: “I have a lot of sympathy for him …. I saw him in that stage, I could relate to a lot that was happening. Everyday Americans don’t have that experience.

“But at the end of the day, I believe that the people, especially the Democrats … we voted for him. We had an opportunity to elect someone else, and we chose him and he’s our candidate.”

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Could Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos be Biden’s Fan No. 1 in RI?

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