President Barack Obama will visit Puerto Rico this month, the first official visit by a president since John F. Kennedy went to the island almost a half-century ago.
An administration official confirmed to Roll Call that Obama will visit on June 14 “to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s visit to the island.”
It’s a trip filled with historical — and political — resonance. Though people living on the island of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, they cannot vote in presidential election. But there are a lot of Americans of Puerto Rican descent who can — and will — vote in 2012.
In 2008, Obama beat Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Sunshine State by only 236,000 votes.
Kennedy visited Puerto Rico in December 1961 and, excluding short, unofficial visits by Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford, no president has traveled to the island since, according to a Facebook post by the secretary of state of Puerto Rico.
The administration official said an official announcement on the trip with more details is forthcoming.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.