Obama Makes Historic Trip to Puerto Rico

It's the first presidential visit in 50 years
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 14, 2011 3:38 PM CDT
President Barack Obama, Sen. Alejandro Garcia Padilla, second from left, Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, right, order lunch at Kasalta bakery.   (AP Photo/Christopher Gregory, El Nuevo Dia)
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(Newser) – President Obama visited Puerto Rico today, becoming the first sitting president since JFK to do so. “When I ran for president, I promised to include Puerto Rico not just on my itinerary, but also in my vision of where our country needs to go. And I am proud to say that we've kept that promise,” he said in a speech that noted Puerto Rico’s contributions to “the American story.” The trip signals Obama’s push for the Latino vote in 2012, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Obama said a report by his Puerto Rico task force “provided a meaningful way forward” in the island’s relationship with the mainland. “When the people of Puerto Rico make a clear decision, my administration will stand by you,” he said. Streets were lined with pictures of Obama and Kennedy, saying “we are proud to be part of history.” But at least one resident at the sandwich shop he visited wasn’t impressed. “It is important for him to get some money but he is not talking with the people,” she said.

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