Presidential candidate Ben Carson’s Director of U.S. Territories and Commonwealths, Jason Osborne, spoke for Ben Carson to a reporter from El Vocero.
“Most problems that occur in Puerto Rico are the result of the failures of Congress and this administration,” Osborne said. Statehood, he says, can “create stability to mitigate the financial problems facing Puerto Rico.”
“In 2012,” he continued, “statehood obtained the most votes. Now three years later, President Obama has not demanded action. When he came to Puerto Rico last November, he endorsed statehood.”
Osborne reiterated that the uncertainty of Puerto Rico’s political status is the cause of economic challenges facing the island and also the reason that thousands of Puerto Ricans have left the island for the U.S. mainland.
“It’s not the same dynamic when Virginia residents move to Texas. Many Puerto Ricans who move to the United States really want to stay home. This is important for Carson because he is a family man, and the son of a single mother.” Osborne emphasized the strong family values Carson shares with the people of Puerto Rico.
In a recent interview with the Saipan Tribune, Osborne went into greater detail on Carson’s plans for Puerto Rico and other territories. He listed issues on which Carson intends to take action:
- The Jones Act
- The Affordable Care Act
- Regional military buildup
- Direct representation in the White House
- The creation of a Territory and Commonwealth Advisory Committee with representatives from American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in addition to Puerto Rico
Carson has supported statehood for Puerto Rico in the past, saying that he would be “delighted” to see Puerto Rico become the 51st state.