Yes, the Luis Fortuño for the VP nomination of the GOP Train is moving at a steady clip. Little by little, posts by GOP brokers are setting the stage to push the Republican and pro-statehooder Fortuño as a serious VP candidate, even though the governor has already said on record that although he is flattered, he would not run.
Nonetheless, the suggestions continue, as reflected by Roger Stone’s latest piece, entitled THE GOP’S HISPANIC SECRET WEAPON (And It’s Not Marco Rubio). Ignoring the fact that all of a sudden Senator Rubio is no longer the Anointed Latino of the GOP, it is sad to see how short-sighted and inaccurate people like Stone are when discussing the Fortuño administration.
Also, we won’t fault Stone for forgetting to add an “ñ” to Fortuño’s name. Since it just shows how shallow Stone’s sincerity in capturing more Latino voters to the GOP truly is. Let’s hope Stone doesn’t say FELIZ ANO NUEVO next week on Twitter.
The one point that no one is addressing (and it is a basic Constitutional principle) is that right now, Fortuño COULDN’T EVEN VOTE FOR HIMSELF, since Puerto Ricans living on the island cannot vote for President or Vice President (although they can participate in presidential primaries). So, like we have said ad nasuem on this site, for Fortuño to run, he would have to claim residency in the mainland United States, which we are absolutely sure won’t play well on the island, where the governor is facing a very tough re-election bid in 2012. We have listed other reasons as to why a Fortuño for VP media campaign is laughable, so we won’t repeat them here. But we will like to share a few facts with Stone and maybe even invite him to actually talk to the vast majority of Puerto Ricans on the island who can share some real stories about the so-called “Puerto Rican miracle?” To many in the financial community who actually understand economics and markets, Puerto Rico can be the next Greece.
Here is what Stone writes:
Meet Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico. He is experienced in Washington as Puerto Rico’s non-voting member of Congress and leading a crusade to restore Puerto Rico – whose economy is suffering after years of bloated spending, high taxes and an expanding government sector under a line of previous Democratic Governors – to economic prosperity.
Governor Fortuno has been on the frontline of cutting spending, hacking back business-killing overregulation and taking on the public employee unions and their rich benefits and compensation in a commonwealth where six in ten people work for the government.
A few things that Stone seems to ignore. According to the US Department of Labor, the current percentage of Puerto Ricans working for the government is about 27% not 60% as his blog claims. As for economic prosperity, Stone also overlooked 2010 US Census statistics (ooops) that show that the island has gotten poorer and that there is a growing gap between rich and poor. Finally, Stone seems to overlook something very basic about Puerto Rico that shows a clear ignorance about the island: the economic culture created by those “Democratic governors” was a direct cause of (wait for it), a 113-year-old colonial relationship with the United States. The culture of dependence has thrived in Puerto Rico because of its the colonial relationship it has had with the United States ever since the US invaded the island in 1898 during the Spanish American War.
Stone continues and concludes:
Fortuno is tall, handsome and articulate. He has been active in the National Republican Party and is a member of the Puerto Rican Statehood Party. Puerto Ricans are the fastest growing segment of the Latino community and Hispanic Americans are the largest growing sector of the American electorate.
Hispanic Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the Democrat Party. The GOP presidential nominee would be wise to consider a sitting Republican Governor who would bring charisma, star power and excitement to the campaign and launch a crusade to win Hispanic American votes based on shared conservative values on many issues. Luis Fortuno is that man.
Stone should come down to the island and ask residents how much “charisma” and “star power” Fortuño has. This year’s polls from the island’s largest TV network would tell a different story. And like the governor said, Puerto Rican “economic prosperity” is clear now that Victoria’s Secret and PF Chang’s are launching stores on the island.
But we will give Stone the benefit of the doubt. We understand that facts are silly things, but we will say that if you are going to craft the American public the myth of Luis Fortuño, you might want to actually do more research.