Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Obama in Puerto Rico

President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation to visit Puerto Rico next month, a trip that would make him the first sitting president to come to the U.S. territory in decades, the island's governor said Tuesday.

The president, who campaigned in Puerto Rico for the Democratic primary, will visit the island June 14, Gov. Luis Fortuno said, without disclosing details of his itinerary. . . .

The governor's office described the Obama trip as the "the first official presidential visit" since December 1961, when President John F. Kennedy stopped on the island to a formal welcome on his way to Venezuela. But that was not the last time a U.S. president set foot in the territory: President Gerald Ford hosted an economic summit in Puerto Rico in June 1976. . . .

Andres W. Lopez, a member of the Democratic National Committee from the island, said the president's visit may also help him with Puerto Ricans on the mainland, particularly in South Florida, which is home to some 725,000 people of Puerto Rican descent and an important battleground state in the 2012 election.

"I am certain that the 4 million Puerto Ricans who live on the mainland will be bursting with a real sense of 'orgullo Boricua' (Puerto Rican pride) when they see the respect that President Obama has shown to Puerto Rico," Lopez said.

Critics say the trip is a campaign stop to curry favor with Puerto Rican voters living on the United States mainland.

Of course it is. And, the critics are just jealous that they didn't think of it first.

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