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U.S. Senate Candidate Richard Carmona and Puerto Rican “Immigrants”

It has happened again.  A credible news source has referred to Puerto Ricans as “immigrants.” Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and when they move to the states  – as many, many do – they are not immigrants.

In this case, Politico referred to Richard Carmona, U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, as the “Spanish-speaking son of Puerto Rican immigrants.”  Mr. Carmona was born in New York, to parents originally from Puerto Rico.  New York has a rich history of welcoming immigrants from many different countries in the world.  But Puerto Rico is not a foreign country.  It is a territory of the United States.   And Richard Carmona’s parents were not immigrants.

Politico quickly corrected its mistake,  changing the story by calling Mr. Carmona the “Spanish-speaking son of Puerto Rican parents.” We applaud their doing so.

Politico is not the first publication to make this error, and it certainly won’t be the last.  As we reported yesterday, broader education is needed in the fifty states to correct inaccurate portrayals of Puerto Rico and its relationship with the rest of the United States.  Politico can now be a part of those efforts.


Richard Carmona’s covert campaign to seize GOP Senate seat

Richard Carmona talks to veterans in Arizona. | Scott Wong/POLITICO

Polls show Carmona in a dead heat with his opponent. | Scott Wong/POLITICO

10/8/12 6:01 PM EDT

TEMPE, Ariz. — At a gritty American Legion post, Army Special Forces veteran Richard Carmona confides to a room full of voters that he’s been running a “covert operation” this year: his campaign for U.S. Senate.

Indeed, the Arizona Democrat, who served as George W. Bush’s surgeon general, has come out of nowhere to contend for a seat that was practically etched in the GOP column.

Polls show him in a dead heat against Rep. Jeff Flake, a tea party-backed Republican best known for his crusade against pork-barrel spending in Congress, and millions of dollars in outside money is suddenly flooding into the race.

As recently as the spring, President Barack Obama’s campaign talked about this being the year Obama could capitalize on the surge in Hispanic voter registration and flip a state as red as a Sedona sunset. Arizona has seen 160,000 new Hispanics, who lean Democratic, added to its voter rolls since 2008. But Obama never made a play.

Now Carmona, the Spanish-speaking son of Puerto Rican immigrants, is in contention to do what Obama could not in two election cycles.

(Also on POLITICO: Heidi Heitkamp puts North Dakota in play)

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