Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) made headlines when he spoke about Puerto Rico Statehood in an interview on CNN last Sunday.
Asked about statehood for Washington, D.C., Manchin said he needed more information. “I don’t know enough about that yet,” he responded.
“I want to see the pros and cons,” he added. “I am waiting to see the facts. I am open up to see everything.”
When interviewer Jake Tapper asked about statehood for Puerto Rico, Manchin answered, “Same thing. I need more facts on that.”
In November, after Puerto Rico voters said “Yes” to statehood in an official plebiscite, Manchin had responded to the same kind of question by saying that he was “not convinced that’s the way to go.”
In response to the interview, the conservative Daily Wire published an article entitled, “Joe Manchin Appears to be Changing Tune on Giving Statehood to Puerto Rico and DC.” Sen. John Cornyn tweeted a link to the article with the message, “say it ain’t so, Joe.”
Senator Manchin is a conservative Democrat who represents a Republican-leaning state and frequently votes with Republicans. If Puerto Rico were to be a state, its leadership would be similarly mixed. Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon, who was recently re-elected to a second four-year term, is chairwoman of the Republican Party of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s new Governor, Pedro Pierluisi, is a Democrat. The U.S. territory has a long history of electing both Democrats and Republicans to federal and local offices.