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. Rudy NYC

    Truth asked:

    Does anybody really care what language they speak in PR?!!
    Yupper. Rick Santorum cares about it a great deal.

    March 19, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Let's be rational

    To "tired of Obamie,"
    I don't know where you are getting your information, but you are mistaken. Do a little research instead of spewing the blather you hear in the media.

    Some insurance companies are changing copayments but this is often a good thing. This year, our copayment for specialists (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) went up $5 (to $25) and our copayment for our primary care physicians went down $5 (to $15). This encourages us to seek care from our PCP first (which is a very good thing–I know too many people who don't have a PCP and their doctors don't talk to each other–there is no one coordinating their care). Our copayment for prescription drugs stayed the same. The only prescription that hasn't been covered this year was my husband's prescription dandruff shampoo. He got a coupon from the doctor that took the price from $350 to $35. He won't renew it because we found an Avon product that works just as well (and smells better) for $7. BTW, our premium went down for the first time EVER.

    March 19, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Ethan

    The statement is so perfectly funny because English is not the official language of the U.S., we have no official language. And, "America" is not a country, it's a continent. This country is known as the "United States of America, U.S., U.S.A., or United States." He should probably learn these basic facts that are taught in middle school government and civics class before he attempts to become our president.

    March 19, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. RH

    Don't worry Mr. Obama..your second term is being served to you on a platter. The country is recovering, the stock market it is up. Businesses are making money. Let these guys bury themselves in their religion and self rightousness. It's a joke. CONGRATS MR OBAMA we love you !!!!!

    March 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Drew

    Poor little Ricky Rip Tide always misquoted, taken out of context, he's just a poor misunderstood man who, gosh darn it, just wants people to live the life he chooses, kind of like Hitler. Only he hides behind the church and holds that cross up in front of him like Crusader Rabbit himself, poor little Ricky Rip Tide.

    March 19, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Ms G

    For all of those who are in a democratic bubble let me wake you up!!!! Do I think that Mitt Romney can beat Obama in the fall? My answer is you bet he can. I live in San Diego Ca. which has the highest gas prices across the country. As of this weekend I paid $4.43 for a regular gallon of gas. Almost 1/4 of my total monthly income is going to transportation costs for myself and my daughter. Transportation costs have consumed or reduced other essentials in life including groceries and utilities and evaporated entertainment budget. Redbox or nothing now. So forgive me if I have truly and sincerely had enough of lies and double talk. This administration came into office with overwhelming arrogance. Gitmo closed in 12 months, does anyone remember that. Both wars done in 18 months, does anyone remember that. Yes he got Osama bin Laden and yes we are safer as a nation. But domestically this administration is a glaring failure passing the buck and still blaming Bush three years later. So to me you are admitting that all you did in the last three years was a failure. I know more people unemployed than employed. In California, the crime rate is skyrocketing because of lack of jobs and unemployment benefits are exhausted. So why would we the people want 4 more years of this chaos. This administration is depressing and I am saddened that so many are suffering by the policies on the books. But solyndra got hundreds of millions, and your cronies are estatic at least.

    March 19, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. aaron

    these guys are a joke. they tout "victories", yet they are getting the lowest voter turnout imaginable. these people are freaks, ill keep the lesser of two evils please.

    March 19, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. stevenfbrackett

    Someone need to tell the Santorum camp that Puerto Rico isn't a country.

    March 19, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. rhumba

    How long are the republicans going to let Santorum get by with the "misquoted" and "misinterpreted" excuses? He's an idiot who never seems to think before he speaks. He could never be put in a room along with other heads of state and foreign dignitaries. He'd misspeak so much that we'd be in WW 3 within minutes.

    March 19, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Lenny Pincus

    Whaaaaa? This president is a failure? Are you wingers nuts? Do you have any memory of 2007-8? Wingers are evidently too uneducated to recall history, or else their partisanship makes them see white and say black. Go ahead. Back proven losers like Romney and Santorum, Gingrich and whomever. Then go huddle for four more years while the adults do the heavy lifting.

    March 19, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Mr B

    Ms G,
    I should point out that gas prices are due to a series of significant events that have been unfolding for years and which are almost universally out of the control of ANY current President. We have more offshore oil rigs currently drilling than during either of the Bush (W. or H.W.) administrations. In your desire to decry the current administration for high gas prices, stop and analyze the futures markets, foreign events, supply and demand curves, etc. before you spew your partisan vitriol. Bush wasn't to blame for the RECORD HIGH GAS PRICES nor is Obama to blame for the increases we see now.
    And on a side note, cancel your $100/month cable bill before you complain about how you can't buy groceries to feed your family.

    March 19, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Ian

    This recent story got me thinking: Both campaigns are being run by groups of advisers, who are the the best in their field, probably utilizing many years of higher education and work experience. And this is the best they can do? "Tell Mississippians that you love grits! They'll love it!"

    March 19, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. r u serious

    @ms g

    Please go do some research before you start blaming gas prices on a single man. Consultants and specialist from both sides of the isle will tell you the president has very little if anything to do with gas prices. Turmoil in the middle east right now with iran and syria and isrea, that's your gas hike issue. Take it up with them. Gas is the perfect fodder because American's like you will believe anything that sounds simple. What could be more simple than to blame gas on one person.

    March 19, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. bg123

    There's a reason that RS was not re-elected here in PA, and a reason why MR lost the republican bid when he ran last time–and neither reason is that someone was misquoted, was taken out of context, or – wait for it – misspoke. The voters understood exactly whee these two idiots were saying.

    March 19, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. IDEAS and IDEALS not ideologies

    I still haven't the clips where Puerto Ricans are clamoring for their island to become a state. I mean they enjoy all the same benefits without any rights of representation. Most Puerto Ricans I know ( I went to college with a whole bunch of them – My best man is Puerto Rican) want to cut all ties with the US and take charge of their own future but they are afraid that they will economically end up like the other islands in the caribean. Fear is the only that ties to the US. They are ethnically and culturally different than than all other groups (whites, blacks, mexicans, natives) that are in the mainland. And that shows it in how narrowly the current candidates define them (i.e english vs spanish). I just don't understand how people wanting to be president are so simple minded in that they take a Puerto Rican issue and define it from the optics of white, anglo, southern, and conservative. I am left speechless. Mark my words Statehood will never happen for PR because they don't want it and the political elite in the US don't want it either. If you remember the words of Teddy Roosevelt who fought in the war that wrestle PR from Spain.He said that Puerto Ricans should never be afforded neither freedom nor statehood because they weren't brave enough to fight for either.

    March 19, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. Kris

    I don't think Santorum was addressing his comments regarding the English language to the Puerto Rican voters. He had already written off those delegates because of earlier comments. His comments were really directed to those states still to run primaries, where a lot GOP'ers feel that English needs to be made the official language.

    March 19, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. ted striker

    I thought Christians like Santorum were supposed to turn the other cheek in defeat? God what an ass. Typical Christian hypocrit. When you have trully accepted Christ as your saviour, good deeds will flow from you to all, rich, poor, English speakers or not. Until that time you have truly not excepted Christ in your heart.

    March 19, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Bob, San Jose

    I'm really tired of hearing the term "job creator" used in reference to the wealthy. The true "job creators" are the consumers – if there is no market for increased products and services, there is no need for businesses to hire more people. Tax breaks and economic benefits should be for the Average Joe, so he/she has more money to pump back into the economy.

    March 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Bill

    Well seeing as English is NOT the official language of the United States nor any language for that matter I don't see why Rick would say that they have to learn English to become a state?

    March 19, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Oh the GOP .. just keeps showering us with your crazy rhetoric and off the wall ideological madness. These clowns need a lesson in ethics and respectable behavior. Once November comes and they take yet another major loss. Will the GOP actually take a real step back and retool or just remain fools for the next 5 years? It's just plan ridiculous how the GOP have put forth some of the worst ideas, candidates in history of this great country.

    Here's something to consider with Santorum: Did you know he was a lawyer for the WWE(WWF) .. the same entertainment company which parades Women around in bikinis or exposes young audiences to adult themes.. humm..yet Santorum tells us he's a christian and against such behavior. I always find it sad when an individual tries to be something they are not just to get votes. I don't care if he was a Lawyer for WWE and Women didn't wear much on the show.. I just find it a load of crap for him to behaving so innocent. The truth is out there.. just google it and you'll probably find it.

    March 19, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. Me 3

    The GOP continues to be the party of hate, bigotry, and racists. They are mean old men and witchy women.

    March 19, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Ryan


    March 19, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Denker

    ...and Santorum will wear any sort of sweater to get votes.

    March 19, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. Educator 36

    Sick Rantorum can rant all he wants to–he is utterly and completely unelectable in the USA. He might do better in Vatican City, where he also would lose. This is the result of the Palinization of the GOP–Grand Oil Party–and we would be in two more Middle Eastern wars if he were elected...

    March 19, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Cheers

    Santorum needs a post in the clergy, not the govt, the guy is scary and reminds me of executed Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who banned abortion and had the mentrual police ensuring women conceived and gave birth.

    March 19, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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