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Posts Tagged ‘Jay Carney’


Proving once again that when it comes to the issue of Puerto Rico’s political status everything that is up is down and everything that is down is up, last night the White House backtracked on what Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier in the day about the island’s recent plebiscite vote on political status, according to a report by El Nuevo Día.

Yesterday afternoon Carney said that the results of the plebiscite’s first question clearly showed that Puerto Ricans had rejected its current commonwealth status, but that the process behind the second question of the vote was not as clear, even though 61% of Puerto Ricans chose statehood in the second part. It is a similar position that the co-chairs of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status said last week. (For my thoughts as to why this is all muddied in the first place, read this post.)

© Associated Press

© Associated Press

Last night, all that changed, as Luis Miranda, the White House’s Hispanic Affairs spokesperson, said that all the results of the vote were “clear.” Miranda said that the Puerto Rican people wants its political status to be resolved and that a majority favored statehood in the plebiscite’s second question.

According to El Nuevo Día, Miranda’s comments corrected Carney’s prepared White House statement, which was shared with END last Friday.

In the meantime, END also reported that the office of Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (R), the House Majority Leader, will be talking with his colleagues about Puerto Rico. The newspaper says that Cantor is a key player in favoring a new process that would help to determine Puerto Rico’s status.

Stay tuned for more topsy-turviness. As if this should surprise anyone.

To read the entire END article, click here.

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This afternoon POLITICO reported that the White House “declined to fully endorse a push by Puerto Rico to become the 51st state.” However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also reiterated the previously-published position that the Obama Administration believed that Puerto Ricans have rejected their current commonwealth system.

In November Puerto Ricans held a two-part plebiscite vote, which rejected the current commonwealth system in the first part and preferred statehood in the second part. A more detailed analysis about the reality of this vote (context that the POLITICO didn’t include) can be read here.

Here is what POLITICO said:

Asked Monday by a reporter if President Obama would “help” the Puerto Ricans with their statehood bid, [Carney] said: “I think the outcome was a little less clear than that because of the process itself.”

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The story also added the following:

Carney said that the results showed that Puerto Ricans want a resolution to their current political status — and Congress should study the issue closely.

“The people of Puerto Rico have made it clear that they want a resolution to the issue of the island’s political status,” Carney told reporters.

“Congress should now study the results closely and provide the people of Puerto Rico with a clear path forward that lays out the means by which Puerto Ricans themselves can determine their own status,” Carney said.

He added that the Obama administration was committed to the principle that only Puerto Rico could decide on their future.

“This administration, as you know, is committed to the principle that the question of political status is a matter of self-determination for the people of Puerto Rico,” Carney said.

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