There you have it: In Puerto Rico, Hillary goes courting the votes at an evangelical church, and then hits the beach. The photo on the right shows the enthusiastically born-again singing and dancing with Hillary in their midst.
In her first official visit here as a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton came with one promise: that if she is elected president, one of her top priorities will be to give Puerto Ricans equal standing as Americans, primarily by giving them the right to vote in the general election.
“I think you should be treated equally, nothing less,” she said. “That is the core of my agenda in Puerto Rico, a passionate belief in your right to equal treatment. This is the 21st century, we need to treat every person equally and certainly the United States government should be the model and set the example.”
I promise you that if the “equal treatment” means having Puerto Ricans pay Federal income tax, the average Jose on the street is going to say, “No, gracias”.
Fernando Suarez, CBS’s correspondent, continues
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and doesn’t share some of the same rights as American citizens, such as being unable to vote in the general election. Puerto Ricans, instead, are allowed to vote in the primaries and are allocated delegates who can cast votes for the nominee. But one key issue that has prevented the full right to citizenship has to do with taxes – Puerto Ricans are not required to pay federal income taxes, although they do pay payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.
Suarez is correct.
Now comes a part no one is talking about: Hillary appears to have – inadvertently or not – promised statehood to the island:
“I promise you this I will work for a resolution of Puerto Rico’s status by the end of my first term in office,” said Clinton drawing thunderous applause from the crowd.
If she is saying that she’s going to grant Puerto Ricans in the island to right to vote in the presidential elections (Puerto Ricans who live in the 50 states already can), and is committed to “a resolution of Puerto Rico’s status” by the end of her first term, surely she has to realize that she would be granting statehood to the island.
I mean, Puerto Rico is already a Commonwealth. From her statement, Hillary believes that she considers the island’s Commonwealth status as unresolved. If Puerto Rico’s status was changed to independent, Puerto Ricans would be citizens of a different country, and would cease to be American citizens therefore losing the right to vote in US elections. Hence, for Hillary to propose granting the right to vote for Presidential elections AND resolve the status, she would have to make Puerto Rico a state. Of course the President does not have the power to do any of this.
So I must conclude that she’s just an ignorant liar, because when she was at the church she said she had “no preference” on status.
Obama, on the other hand, waffled:
“We don’t want to get too political here on the issues that are obviously so controversial here in Puerto Rico, but what I will say is that I am absolutely committed to making sure that Puerto Rico has the right to make a decision and to have self determination when it comes to its status, and making decisions about how they’re interacting with Congress and the President of the United States. In the meantime, I will make sure that you are represented in these issues.”
Which shows you that you can eat your waffle, and have it, too.