Washington DC – Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis on Sunday ruled out supporting statehood for Puerto Rico unless there is another jurisdiction in favor of the Republicans and it becomes another state in the United States.
“I won’t do anything to give more seats in the Senate to Democrats. So whatever it is, it has to be a Republican state or a Republican state to match the Democratic state. I understand how closely divided the country is, and I’m not going to change that.DeSantis said at an event in Des Moines, Iowa, according to Florida Politics.
Governor DeSantis – who lost the vote – responded to a question from a citizen who expressed concern about the possibility of Puerto Rico, as a state, electing Democratic senators.
DeSantis’ comments echoed those of Senate Republican leaders, such as that delegation’s chairman, Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), who said recognizing Puerto Rico as a state would increase Democrats’ power in that chamber.
McConnell pointed out that the statehood proposal for Puerto Rico and Washington DC is part of the “socialist agenda” of Democrats seeking control of the US Senate, currently divided 51 to 49.
As a congressman, DeSantis co-sponsored a bill with Washington Citizenship Commissioner Jennifer Gonzalez, a Republican, that would have made Puerto Rico an integrated territory, a step toward statehood.
Pro-Trump super PAC “Maga Inc” campaigned against DeSantis in Iowa – where the Republican presidential primary process will begin – for supporting Gonzalez’s legislation.
“Ron DeSantis sided with the liberals,” he says AdvertisingIt spilled over into Iowa, home to the 2024 presidential primary.
Donald Trump Jr. has also questioned whether DeSantis, as a congressman, opened the door for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state. This would almost certainly lead to two new Democrats in the US Senate and a permanent majority for the Democrats. “Why should any Republican who cares about saving our country support this?” Trump Jr. questioned.
According to Florida Politics, DeSantis also opposed adding the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. Electoral College because he did not want to add “free electoral votes to the other team.”
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