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. GonzoinHouston

    Back when Santorum was in the senate he was virulently anti-immigrant. His comments in Puerto Rico were hardly surprising, considering that.

    March 19, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Congratulations Mittens! Enjoy this win in the Latino community as it will be your first and last should you end up being the nominee.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    March 19, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. IndeePendant

    America is becoming a bilingual country already. Every school that I have come across in USA teaches Spanish to kids from elementary grade. I don't think Santorum knows that coz he home-schools his kids and Romney doesn't care because his priorities are not that of social conservatives. These are facts and am not taking anyone's side:)

    March 19, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Tyler Durden

    This is PRICELESS! These kids can't even work and play well with the people in their own party, imagine how the bipartisan efforts to accomplish basis tasks like keep the US credit rating from being downgraded would go...

    March 19, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. d

    Republicans all flip flop. "The government can't create jobs, but elect me to lead the government, because I know how to create jobs."

    March 19, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. honeybe

    Santorum is such a hateful example of a "Christian". His attitude is so far removed from the teachings of Christ.

    March 19, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Justin

    @ that's irony!

    March 19, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Lindsey

    So which is it, Mr. Santorum? Did you take a a "locally unpopular but principled stance about English being the official language of America", and a "condition" for gaining statehood, or as you cried later, was the whole thing just a "misunderstanding", or "misquote", or were you "taken out of context" to what you really meant? Can't have it both ways, hon.

    Man, you are one dishonest, whiny dude when you don't get the whole can of cookies, aren't you?

    March 19, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. Joel Miller

    Language politics is a waste of time. The U.S. has been wise to avoid it for the most part. That said, Santorum is wrong: the U.S. has no official language and English as an official state language is not required by the Constitution in order to admit a new state.

    March 19, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. Bruce - An old independent

    It's ironic that the good former senator calls himself a Christian who stands up for all that is holy, but cannot reconcile himself to celebrate the difference inherent in all mankind. Maybe he should spend a day in the public schools – oh yeah, he wants to do away with them. I forgot!

    March 19, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  11. J.C.

    An extremely rare moment where I actually find myself in agreement with the frothy Santorum. Mittens continues to display a spinelessness reminiscent of a jellyfish.
    That said, Obama will wipe the floor with whoever wins the Republican nomination because those guys are only in touch with about 33% of the country.

    March 19, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  12. scef

    Alienating the base for 20 delegates. He will never capture the Hispanic vote. He is an opportunist with no core values. He only seeks his self interests.

    March 19, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. Dave

    Republicans say government doesn't work, then they get elected and PROVE IT.

    March 19, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. Doug Ericson

    At first I wondered why Santorum would mention the language thing in Puerto Rico, and now it seems like he did it intentionally to trap Romney. Whether the ploy ends up being beneficial to Santorum's campaign remains to be seen. Rick will have to win Illinoise to make the wasted Puerto Rico trip worthwhile.

    March 19, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Chumlee

    Yes indeed – NASTY – this is what the fiber of this good Christian is all about – NASTY.

    Obama 2012!

    March 19, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Nick

    Romney is not a man of principles and does not have the courage to stand up for his convictions. He will pander to whoever he thinks will bring him success. Shame on the people who vote for him.

    March 19, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. ornej

    Santorum just voiced another of his beliefs. This country needs to be occupied only by barefoot pregnant women, white Christian, uneducated people who are all straight and who only speak English. Did I miss any of the people Santorum hates? Someone needs to tell him that the Tea Party isn't well represented in Puerto Rico. Those are the only ones he respects or represents.

    March 19, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. WTF-Maine

    By now Rick Sanitation should have learned something that he hasn't – "You've got to be careful with the truth – Rick." This dingbat goes around saying completely idioc things on the campaign trail and thus has not only lost PR by a gigantic landslide, he has really shown that he is not smart enough or diplomatic enough for any state or national office. Telling the PR's that they'd have to learn and adopt English as their language made a loud thud and probabaly lost him thousands and thousands of votes.

    On the other side of this is Mitt "I never said that" Romney. He'll change like the weather in New England – within seconds sometimes – and let's face it – he has no philosophy (except elect Mitt), a backbone like a jellyfish and it all comes down to a matter of trust. How are we going to trust a guy like Mitt who obviously says what he doesn't mean and means whatever is the policically expedient statement of the day.

    This leads me to the conslusion: Go Obama/Biden in 2012 and save us from these two morons – 'cause it will be a total disaster if either every reaches our highest office.

    March 19, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  19. frank

    Santorum said English for statehood was a federal law, which is not true. Plus 80% of Puerto Ricans already speak it and Spanish-both are the Commonwealth's official languages. Santorum did not know that. He is not informed about much of anything.

    March 19, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. a realist

    This just goes to show what a mean, angry, prejudiced and IGNORANT person Santorum really is. Thank goodness he will not get anywhere near the White House. Obama/Biden 2012!

    March 19, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. Dee G.

    Yo, Santorum! The USA does not, I repeat, does NOT have an official language!

    But on the other hand, the in-fighting going on in the GOP is wonderful!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    March 19, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. clarke

    I find Santorum to be mean spirited when he doesn't win. Like a spoiled child. So much for being a true Christian. Shame on him.

    March 19, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. Jeetu

    None of these republican candidates are worthy to become the President of USA. They do not have any idea about job creation, human rights or world affairs. All they are good at is lying and bikcering with each other. They are against women's rights, they are lying when the say that as President they can reduce the price of gasoline when they very well know that their firends in oil companies have inlfated the gasolione prices to attempt to deleat President Obama because he wishes to abolish the unreasonable and unwanted subsidies by federal government to the oil companies.

    The issues that the republicans are talking about are their own (republicans') creation for which they are blaming Obama. Just think what would have happened to the economy had the auto industry not rebounded and if Obama did not care about the middle and poor class. It is due to Obama's policies that things are not worse at present as they would have been if his policies were not pursued.

    So the question we should be asking is: are we better off with Obama's policies than republicans' policies. We cannot care compare our economic well-being of today to that about four years ago as without Obama's policies, the answer would be far worse than what it is today.

    We should thanks Obama for saving us from the worse of the economic downturn handed over to him by President Bush and propagated by republicans throughout the last three years after Bush.

    March 19, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. FIZZ

    Somone in the GOP should have considered offering a quality candidate, but alas......

    March 19, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. SNAPPA

    Rick (frothy) Santorum isn't going to be president of anything let alone the United States. He is a mentally sick idividual that should be seeking medical help instead of being in a race for POTUS.

    March 19, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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