Smart Pick for GOP VP: Puerto Rico's Luis Fortuño

He's a strong conservative, and a demographic win: William McGurn

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 6, 2011 1:29 PM CST

(Newser) – Hey, Republican strategists, interested in a young, dynamic, Latino vice presidential nominee? Then William McGurn has a name for you, "And he's not Marco Rubio." Instead, the Wall Street Journal columnist suggests the less-famed Luis Fortuño, governor of Puerto Rico, who's "part of a rising generation of Republicans pushing pro-growth, small-government agendas." When Fortuño took office, one in three Puerto Ricans worked for the government, and the state couldn't make payroll. So he slashed 20,000 government jobs, and then cut individual and corporate taxes.

Of course, Fortuño also has undeniable demographic appeal. "It is no dismissal of Marco Rubio … to observe that, as a Puerto Rican, Mr. Fortuño might enjoy greater appeal among the broad Latino community than a candidate from a traditional GOP constituency such as Cuban-Americans." And he'd come with an unrivaled knowledge of, and ability to speak to, our southern neighbors. Asked if he'd be interested, Fortuño insists he's working for Puerto Rico, not for his own advancement. "But," writes McGurn, "he doesn't say 'No.'"

Gov. Luis Fortuno, from Puerto Rico, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.
Gov. Luis Fortuno, from Puerto Rico, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In this photo taken July 10, 2010, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno speaks at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, in Boston.
In this photo taken July 10, 2010, Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno speaks at the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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