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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN

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. Sick of self-rightious Christians

    You don't have to scratch the surface of a "good Christian" very deep in order to find the ugly.

    March 19, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Tony

    @saftgek. Spot-on! I couldn't agree more

    March 19, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Bob

    "build upon the divisiveness that Obama is pushing"

    Utterly false premise.

    March 19, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. SeattleMark952

    Another carefully spun excuse from whiny Santorum. If he loses Illionois to Romney, Santorum's staff will need to be more creative.

    March 19, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. tony

    US Christian – moral terrorist

    March 19, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. george of the jungle

    neither repo has the knowledge or insight to be president. Ricky had no plan and just jumps from topic to topic. He is like a loose cannon and ol mitt doesnt have the balls to make a dicission on his own. He will flip flop all over the place. Obama 2012 he is calm thoughful and understands the middleclass.

    March 19, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  7. Butch in the Carolinas

    Santorum's after-thought saying he "was misquoted or taken out of context" sure looks like a
    FLIP-FLOP to me! True also: his own constituents in PA didn't even reelect him when he ran
    in 2008.

    March 19, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  8. jon

    I have been to Puerto Rico, the official language may be English but I didn't hear a lick of it. When Alaska and Hawaii, just to name two, became states they had to switch over to English. Santorum is right and Romney is just another crank in the already soiled machine...............

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

    Two things I believe: 1. Santorum is no Christian. 2.Romney is no Christian. In my experience, those who profess to be Christian, yet thump their chest the loudest and longest, have something to hide and these thumpers of hate and greed are no Christians.

    March 19, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Butch in the Carolinas

    Santorum's after-thought that "he was misquoted or taken out of context" sure sounds like
    a FLIP-FLOP to me!
    True also: his own constituents in Pennsylvania didn't even re-elect him when he ran in 2008,
    which doesn't bode well for his chances for the Presidential race which look pretty grim already.

    March 19, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. liz

    Is the country of Puerto Rico anything like the country of Africa?

    March 19, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Laverne

    So I guess when Santorum congratulated Romney, he had his fingers crossed behind his back! This is hilarious!

    March 19, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    And once again, Romney beat Santorum for the Catholic vote in a territory with a higher percentage of Catholics than any place else in the country. I can't wait to see Ricko handed his own head on a platter in the Pennsylvania primary. That should be worth a chuckle or two.

    March 19, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  14. Mike

    Guess What:
    "we all know romney is nothing but a white obama who will say anything."

    Who is "we"? The radical religious-conservatives who believe anything Santorum says even though it makes absoutely no sense? That will give him about 10% of the vote in a general election.

    March 19, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  15. Sniffit

    Now, translate this kind of petty, backhanded bickering to how they would behave towards other world leaders if elected POTUS. Yeah...super wonderful happy happy fun time diplomacy bomb. Haliburton is drooling over the possibilities.

    March 19, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  16. Brian

    Why is it in every election the GOP rolls out the right wing conservatives and completely abandons the large Republican Independent minded middle. I worked for Reagan, but at no time was I ever a religious zelot. I dont care if people want to be gay. I want all of us to make money an be happy.

    Of these four canidates, Obama actially looks good politically (biting my tounge), he got us out of Iraq and killed bin Laden.

    Where is Grover Norquist? The Republican House has passed Bills to raise a National Mortgage Tax 2 times and a third major one is in House Fin. Services right now.

    March 19, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. Joe

    Official Languages. It's basically hot air. By declaring it, it doesn't mean people are automatically just going to learn a second language.

    March 19, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. cigarman

    As I have stated many times, Not being mean or anything against Santorum, but, anyone with a BRAIN can see that Santorum is MENTALLY ILL, just listen to him. Rick, get some help. He really should get a Mental Evaluation.

    March 19, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Tim

    Santorum and his supporters only see the world in black and white. Some things are black and white. But in the real world there are many shades of gray. There are a lot more complex issues surrounding the state-hood of PR than just language. Santorum knows his base loves to hear "Rush Limbaugh type claims" about language, war, and abortion. Rick would do better if he was running in 1950 in plastic town.

    March 19, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. DrCole

    @ Marcia ....first off, you should know what you're talking about. Mitt was never the governor of Michigan, his father was governor of Michigan. Mitt was the governor of Massachusetts. Mitt did say that the government can't create jobs, but as President he will create jobs. Maybe you need some economics classes to understand how he will do that. I owned a medical clinic until 2011 when I just couldn't make any money with the federal regulations anymore. The amount of regulations and continued stagnation that was caused by President Obama and the previous all Democratic Congress truly harmed my business. When companies don't know what to expect from the government, they will not expand, they will just tuck their profit away for when the environment is more suited for expansion. This is what doesn't produce jobs. What does produce jobs is when the President and Congress create an environment of stability. This stability allows corporations and companies to forecast the future and therefore expand in a safe way. This expansion allows for the company to hire people to fill their expansion needs. This is how Mitt will get credit for creation of jobs.

    March 19, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  21. Frank Cardenas

    Santorum just said it like it is!

    March 19, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    Tim Pawlenty is starting to look pretty good.

    March 19, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Why only the south?

    "maggie [who couldn't capitalize her name in her post about grammar]
    When people in places like Mississippi learn to speak proper English, we can then worry about Puerto Rico."

    Why do you make the implication that only people in the deep south speak with poor grammar? Bless your brilliant mind for being educated outside the south. Get over your regional superiority and realize that there are sub-standard education systems all across the United States that need drastic improvement; Improper English is not localized to the south any more than genius is localized to your part of the country, Maggie.

    March 19, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. SensibleJoe

    Team Santorum still hasn't heard: English isn't the official language of the United States, which has no official language - not by federal law or the US Constitution. Who needs a president who's ignorant of our constitution and our laws, especially after he went to law school?

    March 19, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Lar 5

    Santorum take notice;
    This week, in a groundbreaking case, Argentina’s National Supreme Court decided that rape victims—all rape victims—are entitled to legal abortions. For nearly a century, the only pregnant rape victim eligible for a legal abortion in Argentina was a mujer idiota o demente, an "idiot or demented woman.” Now, 91 years after the penal codes were drafted into Argentinean law, the nation’s highest court has affirmed that abortion is available to all rape victims, not just the mentally impaired. By Latin American standards, this is a huge victory.

    March 19, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14