The Republican primary is coming up in Puerto Rico. So how do the remaining Republican candidates shape up on Puerto Rico?
Ted Cruz recently said, “Puerto Rico should be allowed to take an up or down vote on statehood, and if the voters choose statehood, Puerto Rico should be allowed to proceed with the process of becoming a State.”
Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to allow that up or down vote on statehood and federal funds have been allocated to pay for it.
Marco Rubio said much the same in a piece he wrote for El Nuevo Dia:
Ultimately, Puerto Rico’s status must be resolved, and its unequal treatment by the federal government must end. As president, I will continue to speak clearly about the importance of enabling Puerto Ricans to resolve their status. Already, during a 2012 referendum, Puerto Ricans made their aspirations clear by rejecting the status quo and choosing statehood. Puerto Rico deserves to take the next step, something America has offered to its territories since 1787 when it first opened the door to the creation of new states, even before adopting our Constitution. Puerto Rico should have a federally-sponsored vote on the island with two choices: become a state or not. If a majority of Puerto Ricans votes yes, Congress and the next president should respect their will and do what’s necessary to admit them as the 51st state.
Rubio has been endorsed by party leaders in Puerto Rico.
Donald Trump sent a letter to Puerto Rico on the anniversary of the Jones Act, saying “I’m glad you’re part of our nation.” He had already made a statement on the subject which said
There are 3.7 million American citizens living in Puerto Rico. As citizens, they should be entitled to determine for themselves their political status… The will of the Puerto Rican people in any status referendum should be considered as Congress follows through on any desired change in status for Puerto Rico, including statehood.
John Kasich hasn’t made a public statement on the subject, but has chosen statehood supporters for his Puerto Rico campaigns. Kasich said of Jorge San Miguel, ” I look forward to hearing his insights in order to move the ball forward on statehood for Puerto Rico, should the majority of Puerto Ricans choose this option, and resolve the status issue.”
Former Deputy Secretary of State of Puerto Rico Vanessa Viera said of Kasich, “Puerto Rico has no greater ally in this presidential race than John Kasich. He respects our right to self-determination and shares the desire to resolve our legal status as soon as possible.”
Rubio and Cruz have both clearly supported statehood for Puerto Rico and none of the candidates has clearly spoken against it.