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Posts Tagged ‘Marco Rubio’


Good to see Florida Senator Marco Rubio commenting about the upcoming November plebiscite question in Puerto Rico. Sure, Rubio, who is of Cuban American descent, represents the state of Florida, which has seen an increase in voters of Puerto Rican descent the last few years, so it makes sense that he would weigh on the island’s non-binding vote to determine its political identity (statehood, independence or enhanced commonwealth). However, Rubio’s opinion reflects what most of the US Congress and President Obama is saying: the final decision by Puerto Ricans on the island has to be a clear majority, whatever that means. Just for reference, the 1958 statehood vote by Alaska won by a 6 to 1 margin, although only about 46,000 voted in Alaska. In 1959, Hawaii gained a 94% voted for statehood. Ironically, the one person who is pushing for a binding resolution of the status question is GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

This is what a report from Caribbean Business chronicled about Rubio’s comments:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising star in the Republican Party and potential vice presidential pick, has broken ranks with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the issue off Puerto Rico statehood.

Rubio said in an interview that 50 percent plus one vote in a status plebiscite isn’t enough to put Puerto Rico on the path to become the 51st state.

“It doesn’t have to be 100 percent, nor 90 percent, but it cannot be, to say a figure, 51 percent of the votes,” Rubio reportedly told a local newspaper.

That puts the Cuban-American lawmaker, often mentioned as a vice presidential running mate for Romney, at odds with the former Massachusetts governor on statehood.

Romney has pledged to support statehood for the island if that option wins the Nov. 6 referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status, saying a simple majority at the polls should be enough.

The position taken by Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, actually puts him on the same page as Democratic President Barack Obama when it comes to statehood for Puerto Rico.

Right now, polls on the island show a virtual dead heat between enhanced commonwealth and statehood. It is highly doubtful that either option enters Hawaii or Alaska numbers, and in the end, the US Congress will still have final say. So, after 114 years of a complex (and colonial) relationship with the United States, Puerto Rico looks like it will still be stuck in the status quo.

One thing all Puerto Ricans, both on the island and the mainland, should agree on is that the upcoming plebiscite needs to be BINDING.

If you agree, let your elected officials know by visiting their official Congressional pages.

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The National Coming Out Party of Republican and pro-statehood Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño continues. Next stop, Fox News Latino. Fortuño, who has been a Fox News media darling for the past few years, spoke with FNL about Election 2012, his endorsement of Mitt Romney (strange, since he should be thanking President Obama), and other issues pertaining to the his administration.

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

Here are just some of the comments he made to FNL:

ON THE GOP’S EFFORTS TO CAPTURE THE LATINO VOTE
The GOP can’t even envision winning the White House if we lose a significant percentage of the Hispanic vote.

ON THE GOP NOMINATING A LATINO VP CANDIDATE
That person can be a Puerto Rican or a Cuban, or whomever, but that person can bring that perspective and I believe commence to rebuild bridges that have been burned with the Hispanic community.

ON US LATINOS’ CONSERVATIVE VALUES
It is wrong to believe that Hispanics are Democrats. Hispanics are traditionally and historically conservative, not just socially conservative, but fiscally conservative.

ON US LATINOS’ CONSERVATIVE VALUES
It is wrong to believe that Hispanics are Democrats. Hispanics are traditionally and historically conservative, not just socially conservative, but fiscally conservative.

Education is extremely important to the Hispanic community, as well as faith, and certainly working hard,” he said. “I believe that whether it is this time around, or the next time around, whoever that nominee will be will look at different Hispanics with national stature such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl), Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) or Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) and others that have the credentials certainly to occupy that position.

ON WHETHER ROMNEY WILL CHOOSE FORTUÑO AS HIS VP NOMINEE
I don’t foresee that happening. Really, I don’t foresee Gov. Romney asking me to do that. I foresee Gov. Romney asking me to help him get elected, and I certainly would love to assist him to the extent that my campaign allows me.

Fortuño was also asked about Puerto Rico’s “economic turanround.” Which one is that, FNL? Since the current statistics still show the island in bad shape. Double-digit unemployment is not an economic turnaround. FNL also fails to ask the key question about Fortuño’s “miracle:” why are government jobs growing again in Puerto Rico?

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This just in from The Miami Herald:

“The Hispanic Republican political world is buzzing with talk that Puerto Rico’s governor, Luis Fortuño, has been in talks with Mitt Romney for an endorsement – and sources tell The Miami Herald he could swing his support as early as tomorrow in Orlando.”

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

The article continues:

Romney’s campaign wouldn’t comment.

Friday would be a perfect day for an endorsement for Romney, who’s attending the Hispanic Leadership Network forum tomorrow in Doral before he heads to Orlando – seat of Orange County, which has one of the largest Puerto Rican Republican communities in the state.

More than 21,000 Hispanic Republicans live in the county, about 11 percent of the registered GOP. Nearby Osceola County has more than 8,500 registered Hispanic Republicans – about 21 percent of the GOP. It’s unclear how many are of Puerto Rican descent.

Romney has scheduled a 6:15 p.m. press conference in Orlando. Said one Republican about a potential Fortuño endorsement: “This should happen.”

Said another: “It’s 99.9 percent going to happen.”

**Update Fortuño is coming to Florida tomorrow. He’ll host a 2 p.m. tour and press conference with U.S. Senator  Marco Rubio, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa to discuss port security, drug trafficking and the U.S. Caribbean Border.

A Fortuño endorsement would be a coup purely from a media standpoint – it would guarantee high-profile, positive coverage and feed the Romney narrative of momentum.”

The jury is still out for us, since the Romney campaign might need to do a little more homework about how polarizing a politician Fortuño has become on the island. In addition, it is clear that Fortuño has actually benefited from an Obama administration the last few months, now that the US economy is improving and unemployment figures are decreasing on the mainland. Puerto Rico has seen two consecutive months of unemployment decreases for the first time in Fortuño’s administration. However, government jobs continue to be one of the largest employment sectors in Puerto Rico.

Finally, the question remains for Florida: with all the new arrivals coming from the island to the Sunshine State, is a Fortuño endorsement even going to get Romney anything?

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