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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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First it was the Wall Street Journal, then it was a syndicated national columnist, and now it is a GOP strategist who has a blog site where you can’t even comment.

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.

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

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.

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