Cape Canaveral, Florida (CNN) - Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno has endorsed Mitt Romney, in a boon to the GOP candidate's efforts to woo Florida's Latino voters ahead of Tuesday's primary.
Puerto Rico's top official will campaign with Romney at an event Friday evening in Orlando.
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Earlier in the day, Romney said he would support a move by Puerto Rico towards statehood, and referenced Fortuno's "passionate" support for that process.
"I expect the people of Puerto Rico will decide, like he feels, to become a state," Romney told a cheering audience at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference. "I can tell you that I will work with him that if that vote comes out in favor of statehood we will go through the process in Washington to provide statehood to Puerto Rico."
Puerto Rican voters will weigh in on a referendum regarding possible statehood in November.
In a statement, Fortuno, who has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, said Romney had shown his private sector record "can be applied to all challenges."
"Mitt Romney is the one candidate who has the record, leadership, experience, and pro-growth plan to continue the course of private-sector job creation we've begun in Puerto Rico and provide economic stability for generations," Fortuno said in a statement.
Puerto Rico's Republican caucuses will be held March 18, when 23 delegates are at stake. However, Puerto Rico is not allocated any electoral votes in November's election.
The announcement would clearly be a disappointment to some - at Thursday's CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate, another candidate, Rick Santorum, cited his friendship with Fortuno.
"I will give a shout-out to Governor Luis Fortuno, who is a good friend of mine," Santorum said. "I know him and his family, we have known each other for many years, we actually used to go to church together."
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Statehood? Didn't Mitt Romney criticize Gingrich in last night's debate about how politicians go around to each state and say exactly the things that the people in that state want to hear?
Romney all the way.
now watch and see if the GOP base is against statehood for Puerto Rico if Mitt will change his mind again.
Go Rommney 2012....THE ONLY CANDIDATE WILL BRING AMERICA TO ITS VERY BEST!!!!
Wait, let me do the rednecked, xenophobics job for them - why do we care who this illegal Mexican endorses anyway? Now go do my lawn.The grass under the trailer is getting a little long.
Carries zero weight in the final analysis.
ROMNEY ! The man with millions. The man who knows how to work an economy, the man that will have america a a good roll in 2013 trough 2020...
Floridans don't give your blind trust to Romney....!!! so what that Puerto Rico is for Mitt...maybe he should move there...!
Puerto Rico can't vote...who cares who he backs?
Be careful what you wish for, Mitt. PR will go blue, so thanks for the votes. While you're at it, make DC a state then.
Statehood is a good idea if they want it, They have been a territory for many years, like Hawaii and Alaska.
Having lived in Puerto Rico for several years, it's a wonderful place but the people there have little in common with the mainland – theirs is a Spanish heritage with virtually no Anglo influence. Plus it is a heavily socialized society where over 30% of the people work for government in one form or another, and people expect the government to provide for them (and the US taxpayers provide much of that support) – so it's not exactly a good sign that Puerto Rico's governor endorses Mitt – it just means he thinks they will continue to get a free ride on the gravy train from him.
I'll vote for Bonzo the Chimp if he is running against the part time professor in the white house right now.
Fortuno is a star in Puerto Rico, enjoying broad popularity. His endorsement of Romney along with the timing here is great to see.
Mitt loves Latinos... They keep the gardens at all of his homes really nice!
How about telling the readers about what a conservative farce Puerto Rico's gov't is right now and how it's causing all sorts of problems and unrest? No? Just want to be lazy, do no research, report only on the sensationalizable red meat and collect your ad revenues? Figures. "American journalism" is an oxymoron.
Puerto Rico? Not a good thing for Mitt Romney.
Come on out Mittens Kittens... Don't worry, its Obama for 4 mo years.. Deal with it.
I admit to being baffled by this.
"Statehood? Didn't Mitt Romney criticize Gingrich in last night's debate about how politicians go around to each state and say exactly the things that the people in that state want to hear?"
Well, it's kindof funny, because as I understand it, the democratic parties in Puerto Rico are actually the ones who want to maintain and take back as much of Puerto Rico's sovereignty as an independent nation as is possible. As much as the conservative rabble and misinformed base likes to blather about fearing the "new world order" and "globalization, one world gov't," they're supporting the people who actually want and are working towards that: those who support the unrestrained randian, free market brain fartery pushed by conservatives and libertarians. It's just that in their version...and the version PR conservatives glom onto as well, which is why they suck up to the GOP and 'Murkin corporations, will result in the evisceration of actual gov't and hand all power to global corporations. We innovated as a society and came up with the concept of separation of church and state a couple hundred years ago and it was a huge part of what has made us successful in protecting, maintaining and growing civil rights, freedoms and liberties as we have. Our generation is faced with a similar choice and lesson, but so far we're failing miserably at it: when will we learn (or will we ever learn) that the same "wall of separation' needs to be erected between corporations and state? Those who say "get gov't out of the way of business" have it all backwards. GET BUSINESS OUR OF THE WAY OF GOVERNANCE.
don't be stupid. the governor is only one delegate vote, he can control 2 more = 3 delegates. the other 20 come from the caucus. the governor like usual will make a stupid mistake since puertoricans are always in the wrong side of the fence. it is ron paul who is for state rights. – the president has no issue with the puertorican status – is congress. the caucus in puertorico will go for ron paul – ron paul is the only one that can give puerto rico what it needs. puertoricans cannot afford statehood, they will continue to be beggars to the administration. ron paul is for state rights – if puertoricans make the mistake of going with romney – tough luck.
Headline is misleading and incorrect. One person, who has interest in becoming a vice-presidential nominee, supports Romney. It hardly represents a ringing endorsement of the population or even the Republican members of Puerto Rico.
Why would any Latino support the teapublican clowns who would cut your mom and dads soc sec Medicare, medicade and food stamps and deport your families??????
Looks like Karl Rove is working lots of overtime to keep his Plan to Elect the Next Neocon Robot from running off the rails. The favors and cash changing hands behind the scenes must be phenomenal.
In Puerto Rico people HATE Luis Fortuño. He's got no chance of reelection in december.