A strange Puerto Rican political weekend culminated with a video of pro-statehood and Republican Governor Luis Fortuño showing his bromance GOP love to Mitt Romney in Florida. In case you haven’t seen the video, here it is:
This blog has written a lot about the weird GOP VP adoration with Fortuño, especially since this self-proclaimed lover of Ronaldo Reagan right now couldn’t even vote in a presidential election. And now that this Romney endorsement is making the rounds of the mainstream US media (one that is clueless about the island’s politics and issues), we will be very clear about it:
Luis Fortuño should be endorsing President Obama and not Romney, because without the policies of the Obama administration, Fortuño would have no political life in a tough re-election year for Puerto Rican governor.
Let’s look at the facts:
Fortuño on the Affordable Care Act (also known as OBAMACARE)
- In Puerto Rico, Fortuño’s rhetoric on the Affordable Care Act is not about repeal and states’ rights, like Romney’s, but rather about parity and about ensuring that Puerto Ricans get a piece of Obama’s health-care pie.
- Fortuño, in letter to Puerto Ricans, vowed to fight for inclusion on the Affordable Care Act: “Equality among U.S. citizens includes federal support in achieving health quality, access, and benefits, regardless of whether we are a state or a territory. My promise to you: I will fight and obtain health (care) for all Puerto Ricans. In order to reach that goal, we have created the Salud Para Todos Initiative (Health for All), which seeks parity in federal funds for health programs in Puerto Rico […]“
- Fortuño reassures Puerto Ricans that the Obama health care pie will also be for them: Despite some cosmetic changes on the Affordable Care Act, Puerto Rico will receive the same benefits
Fortuño on The Recovery Act (TARP, the Stimulus Bill)
- For someone who is into free enterprise and against government funding of projects, Fortuño had no problem accepting federal stimulus dollars (source: Recovery.gov). According to official US government records, Puerto Rico under the Fortuño administration received close to $2.7 billion (yes, BILLION) between February 2009 and September 2011. ¡Gracias, Presidente Obama!
- The Associated Press reported that Fortuño thanked Vice President Joe Biden for “ensuring that all Puerto Ricans benefit from the federal stimulus, and thanked him for the help from the federal government to put Puerto Rico on the path to economic recovery” Like with the health-care law, Fortuño’s rhetoric on the Recovery Act directly counters Romney’s current rhetoric (which is different from Romney’s own original support of it.)
- Yet, when discussing the Puerto Rican “miracle” he has spearheaded, Fortuño makes no mention of what the Obama administration has done for Puerto Rico. In front of conservatives, he is the Small Government Guy, but when he needs money, he takes billions of dollars in stimulus money? What is the real story, Governor? It is clear that your public relations push is Fox-laced.