by Nick Delgado
Guam - Local GOP leaders got just over an hour to speak with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum via phone. The call comes just days before the Republicans are scheduled to host their convention to select the nine delegates that will represent the territory at the Republican National Convention. But it seems some senators aren't too pleased with Santorum's lack of knowledge about the island.
"I was quite disappointed with how the discussion went," freshman Senator Mana Silva Taijeron said. "We were kind of expecting his views on how he is going to assist Guam and what I've learned is he is very misinformed, actually uninformed about some of our issues we face here on Guam." She along with Minority Leader Frank Blas Jr. and Senators Aline Yamashita, Tony Ada and Sam Mabini were hoping to hear Santorum's ideas on how he can address issues on Guam - but that wasn't the case.
Yamashita said, "He was sincere, I think. He didn't really know our issues that he was interested in knowing more about them and understand what we were saying is that if you would acknowledge us and include us as you make your decisions that would make it better for us and for the nation."
Blas said, "I asked that he look into if he wanted to know a little more that there was resolutions in those areas, he said he was not aware of these things, a little disappointment but we took this an opportunity." Blas, who is one of the nine delegates that will be attending the GOP National Convention in August, says despite Santorum not knowing island issues it was an opportunity for he and his colleagues to lay all the cards on the table.
"We talked about our political status our relationship with the US, how do we fit in this fabric called the American family, we spoke about compact impact and our need to be able to resolve our issues and he debt the US owes to the people of Guam for those service," he said. Blas also brought up war claims and veterans issues and told the republican presidential candidate that the local GOP is non-committal and will decide during the state convention Saturday.
Although Santorum was scheduled to do an interview with KUAM News this afternoon, his staff later called and said he would no longer be available for comment.Governor Eddie Calvo officially endorsed candidate Mitt Romney, saying, "He's a business guy, so he understands how federal regulations can really hamper economic growth. When I told him about all these different federal regulations that make no sense for an isolated island like ours, he got it. He understands."
In the meantime, the GOP convention starts at 9am at the Sheraton in Tamuning. Local GOP leaders will be meeting Romney's son Matt tomorrow morning.