Presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke in Puerto Rico this week and said that he wants to see Puerto Rico become a state. Having Puerto Rico as the 51st state, he said, will strengthen the United States, and being a State will strengthen Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico’s current debt problems are the result of it being treated unfairly as a territory and the situation would improve once the island wins equal treatment under statehood,” Carson said at a rally of 3,500 people. “The last two states, Hawaii and Alaska, also had a significant problem financially until they became states – then things took off and that will happen here as well.”
Carson also recognized that Puerto Rico is ready for statehood. “Look at all the contributions that have been made to America,” he said, speaking of Puerto Rico’s patriotism and military service. “So you know you have already paid your dues. When you look at all the other territories that became states, very few of them have met all of the requirements that Puerto Rico has. So there is really no reason that we should not be doing this.”
Carson also said that he would, on a personal level, “be incredibly honored and delighted” to see Puerto Rico achieve statehood.
Carson joins Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush as the third Republican candidate to speak up for statehood for Puerto Rico.