Romney stakes opposition to Santorum over language issue
March 15th, 2012
02:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney stakes opposition to Santorum over language issue

(CNN) – Mitt Romney on Thursday staked out some distance between himself and rival Rick Santorum on the issue of Puerto Rico's official language.

Santorum stood by his the assertion he made Wednesday that "English needs to be the principal language" for the territory to be considered for statehood.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told CNN that the former Massachusetts governor would not support such a requirement.

"Governor Romney believes that English is the language of opportunity and supports efforts to expand English proficiency in Puerto Rico and across America," Saul said in a statement. "However, he would not, as a prerequisite for statehood, require that the people of Puerto Rico cease using Spanish."

But Santorum did not advocate that "the people of Puerto Rico cease using Spanish," but rather English should be the "principal language" of the territory.

Puerto Rico designates both English and Spanish as official languages. There is no federal law stipulating an official language, but 31 states have adopted measures and Congress has included adoption of English as a requirement for statehood in previous cases.

Voters will be surveyed on their interest in statehood in a November referendum.

Santorum concluded a two-day visit to the island on Thursday, and Romney is scheduled to campaign there beginning Friday. Romney announced plans to air a Spanish-language advertisement in Puerto Rico ahead of the primary.

The territory's representative to Congress, Democrat Pedro Pierluisi predicted on CNN's Starting Point Thursday that Romney would win the primary on Sunday, though he expected an Obama victory come November.

Also see:

When Romney says 'get rid of' Planned Parenthood he means…

Hatch, if reelected, wouldn't run again

Ridge endorses Romney

Poll: Santorum leads in Pennsylvania


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Puerto Rico • Rick Santorum
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    incapable of learning your grandparents' language.

    March 15, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Valentina – During Bush's two terms, 1 million jobs were created. That includes the 8 million that were lost in Bush's last three years. In our president's 3 years, almost 4 million private sector jobs have been created without any republican help.

    March 15, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. T in Dallas

    Hmm...Rick do you think you may have offended the Puerto Ricans in THEIR country while PANDERING for votes?

    March 15, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Diana

    One question to you "The Real Tom Paine" How do you "assimilate the population of PC into the mainstream of American Culture" when they will not be living on the mainland to experience our "American culture"? They already have their own culture, it's not like they are leaving their homes to come here.

    March 15, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Romney is not My Hero

    Flip flopping fool. I wonder how long it will take him to say that someone took his statement out of context.

    Besides, most of the US is already speaking Spanish – except for the racist, losers who have kept themselves "pure" from all those 'nasty' brown people (who are ONLY meant to cut grass, cook food, serve and not speak at all, not even English).

    Obama 2012! For ALL people, no matter what language you speak.

    March 15, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    I know it seems like I don't know my own language, but I dew. I watch enough Oprah to have a world view. Losers!!!!!!!

    March 15, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Sorensen

    How about introducung english into the deep south?

    March 15, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Sorensen

    Sorry, introducing!

    March 15, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
1 2