June 14 - U.S. President Barack Obama paid Puerto Rico its first official U.S. presidential visit in 50 years on Tuesday, a move aimed in part at courting an important slice of Hispanic voters on the mainland. Jon Decker reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama paid Puerto Rico its first official U.S. presidential visit in 50 years on Tuesday, a move aimed in part at courting an important slice of Hispanic voters on the mainland who could help his re-election chances in 2012. The president's visit fulfilled a campaign pledge to return to the island as president. His message in Puerto Rico was an economic one. SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack saying (English): "The aspirations and the struggles on this island mirror those across America, so I know that today a lot of folks are asking the same questions here on the island, as they're asking in Indiana, in California, or in Texas. How do I make sure that my kids get the kind of education that they need. How can I put away a little money for retirement? How can I fill up my gas tank? How can I pay the bills? Everywhere I go I see families facing challenges like these, but they're facing them with resolve and determination. These problems didn't develop overnight here in Puerto Rico or anywhere else. That means we're not going to solve them overnight but day by day, step by step, we will solve them." Puerto Ricans are an important voting bloc in Florida, a battleground state he won in 2008 and needs next year to help seal a second term in the White House. Jon Decker, Reuters.