Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., cancelled his plans to deliver an address during the opening-night of a national convention organized by the leaders of the Women's March and will instead visit Puerto Rico to discuss the logistics of repairing the island's infrastructure and electrical grid.
"I want to apologize to the organizers of the Women's Convention for not being able to attend your conference next Friday in Detroit. Given the emergency situation in Puerto Rico, I will be traveling there to visit with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and other officials to determine the best way forward to deal with the devastation the island is experiencing," Sanders said in a press release Thursday.
Women's March organizers faced backlash from some of their top supporters last week over their decision to invite Sanders to deliver the opening night address.
"This choice sends the wrong message. We're reached out to the @womensmarch organizers to share our disappointment and offer our help," tweeted Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY's List, a PAC dedicated to putting more women in office.
The president of the Center for American Progress, Neera Tanden, also spoke out against the decision on Twitter.
"Pretty amazing. How did the WomensMarch not find any women for this gig? Unfollwing," Tanden wrote.
The convention is set to take place in Detroit, Mich., on Oct. 27, with the theme, "Reclaiming Our Time," a saying that became popular after it was said by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., during a hearing over the summer.