In the closing minutes of the most recent debate among Democratic presidential candidates, Puerto Rico was finally mentioned. Martin O’Malley, former Governor of Maryland, was the one to mention the U.S. territory, after being asked if there were topics he had wanted to discuss but hadn’t been asked about.
“We haven’t discussed the shameful treatment that the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans, are being treated with by these hedge funds that are working them over,” said O’Malley.
The exchange takes place at 1:49:48 in the video above.
O’Malley, with single-digit figures at the polls, may not have much chance to win the Democratic primary, but his statement gained applause.
According to Politico, Martin O’Malley spoke for just 13 minutes and 58 seconds during the debate, less than half the time allotted to the either of the front-runners. His mention of Puerto Rico, along with immigration issues, has received quite a bit of media space.
O’Malley was among the first presidential candidates to visit Puerto Rico in 2015, and he has spoken in favor of allowing Puerto Rico to have chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, for equal treatment under Medicaid and Medicare, and for statehood for Puerto Rico.