THE BLOG
07/17/2015 01:50 pm ET Updated Jul 16, 2016

In Controversial Campaign Move, Donald Trump to Buy Puerto Rico

Donald Trump told a large, enthusiastic Keokuk, Iowa audience that he's going to purchase the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in order to resolve its debt crisis and rename it Puerto Trump.

Trump later heatedly denied to reporters that buying Puerto Rico was a way to repair bridges with Latino voters offended by his comments about Mexican immigrants.

"I love Puerto Rico," Trump told 4,000 flag-waving supporters in the early primary state of Iowa. "I go there every winter, to visit my hubcabs.

"Seriously, they got the rug pulled out from under them when the idiots in Washington changed the rules of the game about how they can borrow money.

"I don't need to wait until I'm elected President to fix this. I'm just buying the whole damn island right now."

Reaction to Trump's plan, the details of which his advisors hurriedly released after the surprise announcement, has been mixed.

"Jobs and money," Alejandro Garcia Padilla, Governor of Puerto Rico, said in a news conference. "And probably more golf courses. What's not to like?"

"It's just a bald-faced way to buy back support among Hispanic voters," a spokesman for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said. "As soon as we let the media out of their rope-like pen, we're certain they'll share our viewpoint."

Trump told his Keokuk audience, "One of the best things about being very rich is that you can buy whatever you want, and in this case, I want Puerto Rico.

"It's a beautiful place, the weather's great, and the people are already American, even though they speak Spanish.

"I have no idea how that happened, but so be it."

Puerto Rico has been considering defaulting on loans or finding other means of discharging its massive debts.

The island's financial crisis have been overshadowed by the much larger financial issues emanating from Greece's troubles.

Trump has come under massive criticism for his repeated comments about Mexico deliberately exporting criminals to the United States because its leaders are "smarter" than those in Washington.

"I'm buying Puerto Rico to make a point," Trump told his Iowa followers. "You can speak Spanish. You can be an American. And you can play golf, too."

After the rally, Trump told reporters that he intended to turn much of the island into a "really fabulous" 1,800-hole golf resort.

"We'll have 100 courses," he said, "stretching from one end of the island to another. I don't think there's really that much in the way. Maybe some chickens."

Asked whether he thought that the Puerto Rican electorate would support his purchase of their island and turning it into a golf paradise for wealthy Americans, Trump snapped, "They don't have a say in this. I'm assuming their debt. What happens next is up to me."

Puerto Rico is seeking from Congress the ability essentially to declare bankruptcy so that it can get its finances in order and provide basic services like electricity and healthcare.

Currently, more than half of the island's revenues go to debt service.

Some critics of Trump's plan suggest that hedge funds, to which Puerto Rico owes billions of dollars, are providing the money for Trump's purchase of the island.

"If Puerto Rico can go bankrupt," a Treasury official who requested anonymity, reasoned, "then hedge funds stand to lose a fortune. By putting up money with Trump, they can keep their loans to Puerto Rico from getting wiped out."

Trump rejected that argument in a series of tweets last evening:

TheRealDonaldTrump:

"In NYC I've known many Puerto Ricans. They have a nice parade. I like the drums they play."

TheRealDonaldTrump:

"They will be so happy with Puerto Trump that they might all leave NYC and go back home. I'll provide free airfare. They weren't going to vote for me anyway."

This post is satire.