Ben Carson calls for statehood for Puerto Rico

“You’ve already paid your dues,” Carson told a cheering crowd. “There have probably been more patriotic Puerto Ricans than any other state. Look at all the contributions that have been made to America.”

Puerto Rico faces a debilitating $72 billion-dollar debt, but Carson said during the rally Sunday that the U.S. commonwealth’s debt stems from an “un-level playing field.”

“If we start treating them like we do everybody else the debts will get much better,” Carson said. “Hawaii and Alaska also had debt … until things took off and that will happen here as well.”