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Jeb Bush: “If I was a Puerto Rican, I’d vote for statehood”

Last night, the 7th Republican primary debate was held in Des Moines, Iowa. The debate covered a host of topics ranging from social issues to homeland security, and to immigration policy. The debate was sponsored by Fox News and was moderated by Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, and Megyn Kelly.

Roughly half way through the debate, co-moderator Bret Baier, asked former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is on the record as an advocate for Puerto Rican statehood, if he supports a tax-payer funded bailout for the U.S. territory.

Governor Bush responded that he does in fact support self-determination for statehood, and that if he were Puerto Rican, he would vote for statehood. He noted that Puerto Ricans serve in the military and that with statehood would come all the responsibilities of “full U.S. citizenship.”

The former Florida governor also touched on the out-migration from Puerto Rico to Orlando. While Governor Bush does not support a bail-out for Puerto Rico, he does support treating Puerto Rico as all 50 states by including the territory in Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Below is text of the question and Governor Bush’s answer.

BRET BAIER: Governor Bush, you’ve advocated for statehood for Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican economy is collapsing under unsustainable debt burden. Only about 1 million of its 4 million residents are currently employed. So should American citizens who you say are already overtaxed, bail out Puerto Rico as well?

JEB BUSH: No, they shouldn’t. And I believe that Puerto Rico ought to have the right of self-determination. If I was a Puerto Rican, I’d vote for statehood so that they have full citizenship. They serve in the military. They would have to pay federal taxes. They would — they would accept the responsibilities of full U.S. citizenship. But they should have the right of determine — self-determination.

Before you get to that, though, Puerto Rico is going to have to deal with the structural problems they face. You know, it’s — it’s a fact that if you can pay for a $79 one-way ticket to Orlando, and you can escape the challenges of a declining economy and high crime rates, you move to Orlando.

And a lot of people are doing that. And the spiraling out-of- control requires Puerto Rico to make structural reforms. The federal government can play a role in allowing them to do that, but they should not — the process of statehood or the status of Puerto Rico won’t be solved until we get to the bigger issue of how you deal with the structural economic problems they’re facing right now.


5 thoughts on “Jeb Bush: “If I was a Puerto Rican, I’d vote for statehood””

  1. $11,000,000,000 Bond Fraud

    The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico recently released its final report on the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). It found that “PREPA paid previous bondholders with capital received from new investors”. Some call this a Ponzi Scheme. They went on to claim “The abovementioned was done to benefit the financial community”. I suspect the Commonwealth is suggesting that committed fraud so that Wall Street firms could make massive fee income. Interesting take on a criminal act.

    Well It is time to name names:

    Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority – Issued $11,000,000,000 in fraudulent bonds.

    Moody’s, Finch and S&P issued false and misleading credit ratings.

    Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Citigroup, JP Morgan, B of A, Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Firstbank PR Securities, Goldman Sachs & Company, Jeffries, Mesirow Financial, Inc., Oriental Financial Services, Popular Securities, Ramirez & Company, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, Santander Securities, Scotia MSD, UBS FS Puerto Rico all sold these fraudulent bonds to unsuspecting Americans.

    Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury use to run one of the banks that sold these fraudulent bonds and is now pushing for bankruptcy authority and financial aid to the same company.

    The American People paid $11,000,000,000 for these bonds and when it all fell apart the bonds were sold for 50-60 cents on the dollar. Lost for the American People, five billion dollars or more.

  2. To Richard Lawless: There’s blame to be placed
    “everywhere” for Puerto Rico’s fiscal fiasco. In that context, let’s not forget that the shafted bondholders include countless thousands of middle-class Puerto Rico residents who were depending on the bond interest to help them live comfortably in retirement.
    To the author of the “Jeb!” item: The undersigned is a Republican supporter of U.S. statehood for Puerto Rico. Alas, the formerly Honorable John Ellis Bush has betrayed his father’s legacy by putting a “price tag” on equal rights for the natural-born U.S. citizens who constitute the population of Puerto Rico. The 2016 “Jeb” stance is reminiscent of the era when the Deep South instituted “poll taxes” as a way to ensure that poor blacks would be unable to cast ballots. Ironically, back in 1980, a young “Jeb” campaigned for Presidential Primary votes throughout Puerto Rico on behalf of his father, whose battle cry was “Statehood Now!”

  3. Fellow Puertorricans, without Statehood,Puertorricans in the island DO NOT PAY FEDERAL TAXES thrrefore, WE CANNOT VOTE IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONSi.e. NO VOTE FOR FOR PRESIDENT unless we are residents in one of the 50 STATES. I AGREE WITH JEB BUSH, WITHOUT STATEHOOD, Puertorricans IN THE ISLAND DO NOT ENJOY “FULL CITIZENSHIP!”

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