Mitt Romney Weighs Papayas, Odds in Puerto Rico

Mar 17, 2012 3:15pm

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico — Picking out fresh produce at a market outside of San Juan on the eve of the territory’s primary, Romney told reporters that he felt “cautiously optimistic” about his chances on the island.

“We had such a great rally last night, that couldn’t have been more fun and more encouraging,” said Romney, referring to a raucous rally in Old San Juan on Friday night that featured live music and fireworks. “Cautiously optimistic that we’re going to do well in Puerto Rico.”

Romney, who heads to Illinois this evening for a town hall event, said he hopes he is “going to do well there as well.”

As he weaved through the market with his wife Ann, who at one point attempted to buy him sugar cookies as a belated birthday present but was thwarted when Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno insisted on paying, Romney was asked again about his stance on statehood for the territory.

“I think that I’ve pointed out that the people of Puerto Rico should be able to express their own opinion on this issue, and if they decide they’d like to be a state I’ll help them in the effort in Washington to secure that conclusion,” said Romney, as he bagged locally grown papaya at the cash register.

Puerto Ricans go to the polls to vote on the island’s status in November.

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