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. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    You have to admit that as scary as Rick is, he is being out spent by Mittens seven to one, has no ground game, does not have delegates in all districts, and still he is giving Mittens a run for his millions.

    March 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. NateFromIndiana

    Sure it isn't a real congratulation message, but at this stage in the contest I'm not sure how anyone could expect it. More than any of the other GOP field Santorum identifies with the confrontational evangelical approach of telling people very unpopular things, and then asserting that they were rejected not because their ideas were wrong but rather because their listeners insisted on clinging to their sins.

    March 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. scrollman

    Santorum's "Christian" stance is remarkable. On one hand, he spouts Biblical imperatives, while on the other he shows just how far out of touch he truely is with his "Saviour." These dusty old ideas being foisted on us by the ultra right wing make me want to vomit. Birth control.....? Seperation of Church and State...? Making English the official language...? Taxation of the middle class, while the 1% have a free ride through every imaginable loophole...? Complaining about the deficit, while starting unnecessary wars and oh by the way, we can pay for them because they have the patent on "Patriotism." If they want to truely fix this country, they should step back and realize that they are the problem. The lust for power and money corrupts. They are corrupt. On a side note, the birth control much of a leap is it that "Christian" laws could be passed in a Theocracy to ensure that every POTENTIAL life must be saved? Imagine the church intrusion of knowing when a woman ovulates, and making it mandatory that that egg is fertilized. The very people that say they hate government intrusion are the ones that would make moral decisions for you.

    March 19, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  4. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    I am increasingly of the opinion that the current administration is not doing the job but to put Romney or Santorum or Gingrich or Paul in the White House would lead to a disaster.

    Not a single one of them has the slightest notion of foreign policy (at a time when the global equation of nations is badly awry) nor do they have a clue at to how to correct the widening gap between the haves and have-nots which plagues this country. In particular, the two front-runners are singularly focused–Santorum on a quasi-theocracy and Romney on an aristocracy, neither of which will work in a ethnically diverse nation like ours.

    March 19, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    @deamer96: "...none have been in the military or faced combat, I find that very ironic.."

    The proper term is "chickenhawk" (and before all the Ronbots cramp their fingers typing, while I appreciate Ron Paul's service to our country, he was NEVER in combat).

    March 19, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. jerry

    If he had traveled there before he would know that most people speak english

    March 19, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. Church of Suicidal

    "But this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country"

    Puerto Rico's not a country, Rick. You must have been referring to the U.S. as a whole. We're all going to be required to learn a second language. I kind of like that idea. I don't think your base will, though. Most of them are having enough trouble learning a first.

    March 19, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. saftgek

    This is but another example of they hypocrisy of Former Senator Santorum.

    For all his blustering and pontificating about being a committed Christian person – for all his preaching about life and family values – or all his holier-than-thou aloofness – Mr. Santorum belies every so-called "value" he preaches. This is reflected not only in his vile tongue against his GOP opponents – consider the vicious forked tongue he displays against President Obama. Mr. Santorum, if you are the Christian you represent yourself to be, then reflect on the meaning of select Commandments:

    "Thou Shalt Not Kill" – – – this is not a literal commandment. The interpretation is assaulting any person in thought, word or deed. So much for being Christian, and for the preservation of life.

    "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness" – – – every time you prevaricate against our sitting President, fabricating lie after lie, you are violating this Commandment.

    With all of this, Mr. Santorum, it is time to take an objective look in a mirror. It is time to identify what a Christian truly is. Your arrogant demeanor, and drive for self-serving power, belie your espousings of being a life-committed Christian.

    Mr. Santorum, perhaps a reminder will help: "Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven."

    March 19, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. ThinkAgain

    The Obama administration is NOT "specifically going after churches" – which is why they can opt out of providing contraceptive coverage.

    BTW, Ricky, Georgetown University – a CATHOLIC university – provides contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance coverage for their employees. Sandra Fluke's complaint was that while Georgetown requires its students to have health insurance, the plan it offers does not include contraceptive coverage.

    Now I know all this is too much for your little pea brain to handle (especially the part about a woman capable of thinking and wanting to make her own decisions about her own body), but the rest of us can understand the issue.

    And we ALL understand you are a theocrat hellbent on imposing your religious beliefs on our country – IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. James

    sore loser santorum....

    maybe its time to drop out

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Gary

    This is true and reported: The Mitt Romney of 2008 believed that English should be the official language of the United States. But when the Mitt Romney of 2012 traveled to Puerto Rico in search of delegates, he left that position back on the main land.

    I don't get how anyone can support a person who just can't decide what he believes. It all depends on what he percieves the public wants him to believe. It's sick.

    March 19, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. walter

    Santorum wants to tear down the wall separating church and state, knows contraception leads to promiscuity, believes only a snob would favor post-secondary education, wants to prevent the evil scourge of pornography, and alienates a significant swath of voters by instituting a monolingual purity test. How will all these extreme social wedge issues create jobs? The Republicans are asked to choose between an unabashed flip-flopper and an intolerant religious zealot. It's almost enough to make me believe the end times are here.

    March 19, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    The best part about all this GOP bickering is I'm sure it's giving Grover Norquist and Karl Rove the vapors!

    March 19, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. DB

    I live in New Mexico. The original state constitution of 1912 provided for a bilingual government with laws being published in both English and Spanish although there is no official state language. Hawaii is officially bilingual (Hawaiian and English). I'm not sure why Puerto Rico would have to declare English as an official language to become a state when other states have not had to do so for admission.

    March 19, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. J.Crobuzon

    Did you see him going on and on about how five percent of the people who die every year in the Netherlands are "accidentally euthanized" in hospitals? He has nothing but contempt for the actual truth. santorum is the least Christian of all the candidates.

    March 19, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. sparknut

    There is no reason Puerto Rico should become a state.

    March 19, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Guess What

    we all know romney is nothing but a white obama who will say anything.

    March 19, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. TheMagusNYC

    Okay, no we get it. Rick Santorum says that Mitt Romney said that Puerto Ricans would not have to learn English, when it was Romney's spokesman who said they wouldn't have to stop speaking Spanish. And Rick wants to make it mandatory for English speaking Puerto Ricans to learn Spanish. And Romney, having served admirably under a socialist oligarchy lead by wise and trusted leaders, claims to know how the American economy works. Could this be more fun!!!

    March 19, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. TM

    Santorum just showed that he is an ignorant, classless, and graceless sore loser. His "principled" stand was based on a TOTAL LACK of knowledge of the US Constitution. You deserve no credit for being blatantly WRONG. Puerto Rico, while not a state, is NOT a foreign country. And adopting english as the "official language" is not now, AND HAS NEVER BEEN, a requirement for statehood.

    March 19, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  20. maggie

    Santorum has a consistent core alright - one that is so far right that he is unelectable in a general election. He couldn't even hold on to his Senate seat but he thinks he has a shot for the presidency. There are reasons for this folks.

    March 19, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    "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.
    Obviously Rick Santorum does not realize that not only is Puerto Rico not a country, but Puerto Rico's official languages are Spanish and English.

    March 19, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  22. maggie

    When people in places like Mississippi learn to speak proper English, we can then worry about Puerto Rico.

    March 19, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobs in MA grew at a rate of less than 1.5% while Romney was governor. Less than 75,000 jobs were created out of more than 3 million people employed. That is not a percentage any salesman would be proud of trumpeting(+1.5%), yet Romney claims this as his strength. Compare these numbers to the antional averages, and he looks even more questionable. What exactly did he do as governor that makes him feel he understands the economy and can create jobs, when he obviously had very little impact over a period of 4 years? Strange thing is, he slams Obama for not creating jobs fast enough while he also says that government cannot create jobs, so either he is lying or he is doing his usual ham-fisted attempts to try and justify why a failed one-term governor should replace a sitting president.

    March 19, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  24. paul

    He is a loose cannon and also falling for all the gotcha questions.

    March 19, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. EndTheVitriol

    We need a President that can 'Unite'.
    Santorum's offences against cultures and Faith's, not his own, are another example of how he would continue and build upon the divisiveness that Obama is pushing.
    I don't buy it one moment that Santorum would repeal Obama Care. He would just appoint his own Clergy to tell us what is in the National Social Doctrine; given to us by Bush and Obama.

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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