Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

GOP strategists: Puerto Rico Gov. Fortuno is a sleeper vice presidential pick
The Hill ^ | 4/14/2012 | Daniel Strauss

Posted on 04/15/2012 3:20:50 PM PDT by svxdave

Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno (R) is a sleeper pick for the No. 2 spot on the 2012 presidential ticket, according to GOP strategists.

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has kept his cards close to his chest on vice presidential prospects, saying that it would be “presumptuous” to think about it before winning the nomination. But in a recent interview with Newsmax, he described Fortuno as “a solid conservative and a firm leader.” He also dubbed Fortuno “one of the great leaders of our party.”

Republican strategists say that whomever Romney picks, the selection has to resonate with Hispanic voters. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is by far and away the leading Hispanic candidate for Romney, but there are others. They include New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Fortuno. In January, Grover Norquist, the influential head of Americans for Tax Reform, said Fortuno would “be a great vice presidential candidate.”

Fortuno, who endorsed former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 2008, formally backed Romney in the GOP presidential primary in January of 2012.

Fortuno has said he does not think he would be considered for the vice presidential spot but, when pressed, indicated he will go all out to help Romney.

“I am hundred percent committed to running for reelection,” Fortuno told The Hill, stressing he is focused on his reelection later this year. “If I can be of assistance in terms of the convention in Tampa, I’ll be happy to assist.”

Like any other potential candidate, there are pros and cons to picking Fortuno as a running mate. As governor of a territory, he doesn’t bring any electoral votes to the ticket. He also has low name recognition and even political insiders consider him a dark horse candidate.

Political scientist Larry Sabato puts him in the fourth tier of possible vice presidential picks.

On the plus side, Fortuno is young and energetic and in good standing with the Republican Party. And, of course, he has strong Hispanic appeal.

Fortuno, who previously served in the House as the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico from 2004 to 2009, cannot vote in the presidential election, but he can serve on the ticket, according to legal scholars.

As governor of Puerto Rico, Fortuno turned the territory’s economy around by lowering the corporate tax rate from 41 percent to 30 percent and making similar cuts to individual tax rates. Since Fortuno took office, Puerto Rico’s deficit has shrunk from $3.3 billion to about $600 million.

He attributes the territory’s dramatic debt reduction under his watch to serious cuts: “These are not Washington cuts….Puerto Rico’s fiscal and economic operation was by far the worst in the country.”

The 51-year old Georgetown University and University of Virginia Law School grad and father of triplets, who got his start in politics folding envelopes for Ronald Reagan’s campaign in 1980, is solidly conservative on social issues. He is against same sex marriage and abortion rights.

On immigration, Fortuno advocates strong border security, but has also criticized a proposal by some Republicans to deport 12 million illegal immigrants.

“I support enforcing our laws, securing our borders and comprehensive immigration reform,” Fortuno said. “We must also promote a respectful dialogue on immigration, because too often, the tone and tenor of the public discourse has been counterproductive and pushes away instead of embracing the Hispanic community.”

Like President Obama, Fortuno sees the decaying infrastructure in the U.S. as one of the most urgent problems. In Puerto Rico, his approach has been to employ private companies on the upkeep of public buildings.

“Our basic infrastructure is crumbling and what we did is we learned from other jurisdictions, not just in the rest of the country, but around the world, on how to bring in private capital to develop your basic infrastructure and upgrade it,” Fortuno said.

As Resident Commissioner, Fortuno’s primary focus in Congress was Puerto Rican statehood. Fortuno remains strongly in favor of statehood for the territory and is currently the chairman of the New Progressive Party, whose sole platform is statehood.

In terms of the Hispanic vote, Fortuno argues that Hispanics are naturally Republican.

“I am convinced that the Republican Party’s message can resonate well with Hispanic Americans,” Fortuno said.

Fortuno says the reason the Hispanic vote hasn’t consistently gone Republican is a lack of attention.

“The first thing you need to do is show up,” Fortuno said. He also said a serious media blitz to the Hispanic community is key.

“You must have a truly critical effort to reach out, whether it’s at the county level or national level,” Fortuno said.

Republicans know they must do better in this area. In a 2011 interview with The Hill, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP had done a “lousy job” of promoting its outreach efforts to Hispanic voters.

The RNC says it plans to strengthen its Hispanic efforts.

“We’re certainly putting a lot of time as far as the Hispanic outreach is concerned,” an RNC official said. “The math gets hard if we don’t have the Hispanic vote.”

Republican operatives say the Hispanic vote is key in 2012, noting that the Latino population is soaring in the U.S.

“If it’s not a top priority, [Republicans] lose,” political strategist Mark McKinnon said.

A Fox News survey of likely Hispanic voters found just 14 percent of respondents would back Romney over Obama. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) captured 31 percent of the Latino vote in 2008.

Fortuno seems to fit a lot of the criteria for the vice presidential spot —he would attract Hispanics, he’s young, energetic, considered a fiscal conservative, with experience in both Congress and as a governor.

McKinnon said as long as he meets the basic criteria, he’ll be considered by Romney.

“I think the Romney campaign will look [at] every rock possible for a Hispanic running mate,” McKinnon said. “So, if Fortuno meets basic qualification criteria, I suspect he’ll be on the list.”

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: fortuno; gop; ineligibleromney; luisfortuno; puertorico; romney; romney4romney; romneyvsconstitution; romneyvsthelaw
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-42 next last
To: svxdave

If Governor Fortuno is such a good leader in Puerto Rico he’d best stay there to serve.

21 posted on 04/15/2012 4:48:27 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Starstruck

Speak for yourself. Everyone doesn’t plan on cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

Best thing would be if we ALL (conservatives) agreed on the same write in candidate, but that just isn’t going to happen.

22 posted on 04/15/2012 4:51:04 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

This story was certainly planted by the Romney campaign. Pretending to consider a Hispanic is a cheap way to try to win Hispanic votes.

The irony is that McCain did the same in 2008 when he pretended to consider Romney, in an effort to appeal to the Romney supporters.

23 posted on 04/15/2012 5:07:55 PM PDT by Eagle Forgotten
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Wouldn’t he have to establish residence in a U.S. State?

I agree Puerto Rico is U.S. territory.

But I don’t think it will happen.

24 posted on 04/15/2012 5:11:41 PM PDT by scrabblehack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: madison10

I refuse to put sarcasm tags on anything I post. I leave it up to reader to determine whether I have a bucket full of noses or whether I voted for McCain, Dole or Bush I. Hint: I can smell the difference between a communist and a socialist.

25 posted on 04/15/2012 5:14:51 PM PDT by Starstruck (Obama: the most racist president since Jefferson Davis.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

“Sleeper” meaning they want to squeeze even the last vestiges of excitement from the ticket.

26 posted on 04/15/2012 5:18:23 PM PDT by RichInOC (Palin 2012: The Perfect Storm.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Starstruck

Why should you place sarcasm tags? You did not mean sarcasm, at least that’s not what I gathered from reading your past FR posts.

27 posted on 04/15/2012 5:19:33 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...........I’ll never vote for a VP again.

There is nobody that the GOP can use to polish “turd Romney”.


28 posted on 04/15/2012 5:21:02 PM PDT by right way right (What's it gonna take?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

I’d guess the odds of a Romney VP standing to pee are next to nil.

29 posted on 04/15/2012 5:22:55 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

30 posted on 04/15/2012 5:26:34 PM PDT by tomkat ( Newt / Sarah '12 !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
Perhaps he's worth a look.

This makes it appear he has a good record on the financial side of governing and is acceptable on social issues.

I noticed on the prior thread, moonbat birthers are already taking flight.

31 posted on 04/15/2012 5:45:52 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Newt says, "A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat Barack Obama.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madison10

Actually I did mean sarcasm. I have fought the conservative fight since Goldwater I’m retired so the communist state we will arrive at during another 4 years of Obama wouldn’t affect me that much. However I have children and grandchildren that I fear for. Anyone (I mean anyone)that has a chance of getting Obama out has my vote.

32 posted on 04/15/2012 5:51:40 PM PDT by Starstruck (Obama: The most racist president since Jefferson Davis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: newzjunkey

Here is some real facts for you: Puerto Rico in an unincorporated territory and, as per the U.S. Supreme Court, not a part of the United States.

The key here is “unincorporated territory”.

(For comparison, Arizona was an “incorporated territory” and considered part of the U.S.A. before becoming a state.)

The Puerto Ricans are granted citizenship per Congress, which the Congress can revoke at any time. Their citzenship is strictly statutory as neither Congress nor the Supreme Court’s decisions recognize PR as part of the United States.

Natural Born citizenship is not a form of citizeship, it is an eligibility requirement to be President or VP. One must be born within the US of parents who are citizens.

Panama is also an unincorporated territory and children born in the Canal Zone to U.S. parents are considered citizens-by-statute but not natural born citizens as the Panama Canal Zone IS NOT a part of the United States.

The following is from Wikipedia and pertains to the Panama Canal Zone, but it is a good example of how the Surpreme Court decided that the Constitution DID NOT follow the flag:

“Although the Panama Canal Zone was legally an unincorporated U.S. territory until the implementation of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties in 1979, questions arose almost from its inception as to whether the Zone was considered part of the United States for constitutional purposes, or, in the phrase of the day, whether the Constitution followed the flag. In 1901 the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in Downes v. Bidwell that unincorporated territories are not the United States.[26] On July 28, 1904, Controller of the Treasury Robert Tracewell stated: “While the general spirit and purpose of the Constitution is applicable to the zone, that domain is not a part of the United States within the full meaning of the Constitution and laws of the country.”[27] Accordingly, the Supreme Court held in 1905 in Rasmussen v. United States that the full Constitution only applies for incorporated territories of the United States.[28] Until the rulings in these so-called “Insular Cases”, children born of two U.S. citizens in the Canal Zone had been subject to the Naturalization Act of 1795, which granted statutory U.S. citizenship at birth. With the ruling of 1905 persons born in the Canal Zone only became U.S. nationals, not citizens.[29] This no man’s land with regard to U.S. citizenship was perpetuated until Congress passed legislation in 1937, which corrected this deficiency. The law is now codified under title 8 section 1403.[30] It not only grants statutory and declaratory born citizenship to those born in the Canal Zone after February 26, 1904, with at least one U.S. citizen parent, but also did so retroactively for all children born of at least one U.S. citizen in the Canal Zone before the law’s enactment.[31]”

Do you understand now?

33 posted on 04/15/2012 5:55:31 PM PDT by SatinDoll (No Foreign Nationals as our President!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: JewishRighter

Don’t know shite about this dude, maybe greatest thing since sliced bread, but BUT what about his NBC status? Or are we now just going let that pesky little detail be ignored?

34 posted on 04/15/2012 6:01:16 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: svxdave

Awesome let’s put someone who has almost no experience with the US tax system, and that cant even claim residency in a US state, a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

It fits with all of RINOmny’s other picks. He makes his decisions based upon “diversity” and pandering to potential voting blocs.

35 posted on 04/15/2012 6:39:49 PM PDT by vmivol00 (I won't be reconstructed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SatinDoll
John McCain was born on August 29, 1936, in the Panama Canal Zone to two US citizens.

Good thing he wasn't elected or we might have found ourselves stuck with a President whose eligibility was open to question.

The Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. 3) says that Congress "shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States..."

Does that power include the right to say that people born in a particular piece of property belonging to the United States are citizens?

36 posted on 04/15/2012 6:47:27 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: scrabblehack

I know of no requirement in the Constitution that the President be resident in a State.

37 posted on 04/15/2012 6:49:14 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

“Being a governor helps.”

Being Puerto Rican with a knife is too!

38 posted on 04/15/2012 6:50:56 PM PDT by cameraeye (A happy kaffir!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Amendment 12:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;

Electors vote for say “John McCain of Arizona and Sarah Palin of Alaska.” I am fairly certain the state of residence must appear.

It doesn’t seem reasonable that Puerto Rico could get both halves of the ticket more easily than a U.S. state could.

39 posted on 04/15/2012 8:05:31 PM PDT by scrabblehack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Verginius Rufus

“Does that power include the right to say that people born in a particular piece of property belonging to the United States are citizens?”

Sure looks that way. The Supreme Court has reveiwed the situation twice and twice declared that Puerto Rico is not a part of the United States.

Puerto Rico was a spoil of war, won from Spain around the turn of the 20th century. It was granted Commonwealth status and basically the Puerto Ricans govern themselves.

All that is necessary to change that status is for Puerto Rico to vote for statehood, which has not happened. A small sector of that island’s population desires independence and a larger sector prefers to maintain things as they are now.

Whether statehood is chosen or not depends on the people of Puerto Rico.

40 posted on 04/15/2012 10:32:04 PM PDT by SatinDoll (No Foreign Nationals as our President!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-42 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson