Santorum's congratulatory statement anything but congratulatory
March 19th, 2012
08:29 AM ET
11 years ago

Santorum's congratulatory statement anything but congratulatory

(CNN) - Just a few hours after Mitt Romney's landslide victory over Rick Santorum in Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary, the Santorum campaign put out an e-mail release titled "Santorum campaign congratulates Romney on Puerto Rico victory."

But the statement Sunday night from the campaign of the former senator from Pennsylvania was anything but congratulatory.

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In the release, Santorum communications director Hogan Gidley said, "Rick Santorum has a consistent core – and he showed that when he went to Puerto Rico and took a locally unpopular but principled stance about English being the official language of America. Mitt Romney on the other hand, switched another one of his positions to gain favor in Puerto Rico, by saying that Puerto Ricans shouldn't have to learn English if they want to become a state. We all know Mitt Romney will do and say anything to get votes, and this is just another example of that."

Santorum did take a controversial stand on English as a condition for Puerto Rico's possible statehood last week in a newspaper interview on the island. He later said to an extent that he was misquoted or taken out of context.

He told CNN National Political Correspondent Jim Acosta that both English and Spanish should be required if Puerto Rico were to become the 51st state.

"Obviously Spanish will be spoken here on the island. But this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country," Santorum told Acosta.

The Romney campaign reacted to the Santorum campaign statement Monday morning.

"Sen. Santorum is lashing out at Mitt Romney because voters know we won't get the economy going again by replacing one president with no job creation experience with another with no job creation experience," Romney press secretary Andrea Saul told CNN. "Sen. Santorum doesn't understand how the economy works and also doesn't understand that English has been an official language of Puerto Rico for over 100 years."

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, won more than 80% of the vote in Sunday's primary, capturing all 20 delegates at stake. Romney has a more than a two-to-one advantage over Santorum in the race for delegates, but he's still less than halfway toward the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Puerto Rico • Rick Santorum
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. LovesIrony

    "Obviously Spanish will be spoken here on the island. But this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country," Santorum told Acosta.

    Country? I thought it was about statehood.

    March 19, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Rob Rubin

    I'm no fan of Romney, but at least he understands that when you tell Hispanics not to speak Spanish, you probably won't get a whole lot of votes.

    March 19, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. Vader

    Santorum being ungracious in defeat? Wow! Go figure...

    March 19, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. GI Joe.

    Santorum is a hater. He's so negative about everything. Kinda like Rmoney (who has never congratulated anyone).

    March 19, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  5. RKN

    Of course Rick has been pushing English as the language in PR because this is such an important issue for our country right now. He is pushing this because it will solve so many problems we face as a nation. Those problems would be .....

    March 19, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Zenfire

    Santorum is willing to taking the Republican Party down to the depths of the ocean stabbing it with his last breath. He is a divider. Santorum IS Captain Ahab.

    March 19, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  7. Dave in Colorado

    Looks like someone on the Romney team did a quick fact check on Wikipedia. Seems silly to ask a people to make English their official language, when it is already their official language. Many Puerto Ricans are already bilingual. No wonder why Mitt won the Puerto Rican primary by 83 percent. He at least knows enough about the territory to get the facts straight.

    March 19, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. Indiana

    wow, no surprise here... Mitt works hard and wins; Santorum doesn't work hard, loses and then has a whiny fit.. Mitt is great and America needs him in order to fix the mess we are in.. One more whiner and blamer in chief is NOT what we need

    March 19, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  9. John

    Romney's version of congratulations:

    "CONGRATULATIONS! You're fired!"

    March 19, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. Indiana

    GI JOE, now come on, at least speak the truth, Mitt personally calls everyone after a win and congratulates them publicly in most cases... be fair.

    March 19, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  11. Marlee

    I didn't think Santorum would be popular for his English comments, but at least he is consistent. Two fish out of water: Romney flops back in the pond while Santorum gasps in the shade and waits for rain.

    March 19, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Mike

    Puerto Rico should not be a state. Not a hater or racist or just should not be a state....and they consistently vote it down anyway so the whole argument is silly.

    March 19, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  13. ajp

    Lovesirony: Puerto Rico is a country. The issue is taking this country and making it a state.

    March 19, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Marie MD

    Stay classy sanatoyallah. You were defeated 83% to 3%. LOL
    It's too bad that you still don't realize that people don't want to be told what to do by a crazy religious man. What's next? You are only allowed to live if you look a certain way? Oh right, hitler already tried that and look what happened!
    The world has shrunk and we all should know at least one other language besides English. That home schooling of your kids wouldn't go this far as it has nothing to do sith your crazy arse religion that is really NOT whatnthe catholic church teaches even though they are still living in the distant past, just about Jesus' time and he still wouldn't be happy with you! You are pathetic.

    March 19, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. ShawnDH

    The US does not have an official language, and Santorum's babbling on the issue proves he has zero concept of the US Constitution which in no way states that PR would have to make English its official language to become a state. He is embarrassing himself.

    March 19, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  16. Marlee

    Lol @ John! Kuchinich had a good "congratulatory" statement to Kaptur.

    March 19, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  17. JPX

    This is why I find people like Santorum to be loathesome. He preaches the bible and calls himself a "Christian" yet his entire political stance is one of, "If you're not just like me I hate you." Can you imagine the narcissism of telling Hispanics that they must learn English?

    March 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. ShawnDH

    Somebody should tell Mittens that the Obama administration has created nearly 4,000,000 jobs. Not bad for a president with no job creation experience! Obama has done an amazing job turning this country around and away from the cliff we were led to by the previous administration. Who in their right minds would want to go back to those policies? No thanks. I'm voting for Obama.

    March 19, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. YOU Decide 2012: A country where 1% have all the money or a country with thriving middle class

    What if China invades US and forces us to make Chinese our official language even though no one here speaks it. How will we feel?

    March 19, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |

    "We all know Mitt Romney will do and say anything to get votes, and this is just another example of that."
    Amen to that!

    March 19, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  21. M.Orsini

    Santorum exemplifies the root of the problem: he's supposed to know that Puerto Rico holds BOTH English and Spanish as official languages. EVERYONE on the island is taught English in school. People may speak Spanish on the street, but that does not mean that they can't communicate in English... THEY CAN BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT HOW TO. The younger generations are even further exposed to English through media like movies, cable T.V., and games. Once more Santorum showed that he is effectively stuck in the 1950s.

    March 19, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. Jomama

    Nice job gentlemen, keep fighting amongst yourselves. It makes victory so much sweeter in the Obama camp come November.
    Why not, and I'm just spitballing here, stop pointing the finger at each other, pointing out each other's inadequacies and start focusing on the reason you should be the one to beat the President, not the reasons why you should be the one to win the nomination? The reason that your supporters are so angry with you is that you bicker amongst yourselves and don't focus on the things that need changing in our country. Have you noticed that the President hasn't attacked you morons at all? It's because he doesn't have to. You're doing quite well enough alienating yourselves on your own. Instead of acting like children, be the leaders you claim to be. Unless of course, you don't understand what that means...

    March 19, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  23. tepeters

    This non-Romney will also start to fall because he is so extreme in his views and obviously uninformed. There is no official statewide law or federal law about making English our official language though there are a few local governmetns that have tried to do that. Again, Santorum is the threat to our freedoms not Obama.

    March 19, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. asdf

    I feel bad for Puerto Rico – they get absolutely no political clout on the national stage, and yet they still have to be a part of our election process. At least we get something for attending this circus of depression every 2 years.

    March 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. Numbers

    Keep fighting boys. Keep fighting.

    March 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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