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. longtooth

    Santorum doesn't really see himself as president, does he? The leaders of other nations must be howling at the constant stream of mistakes, misunderstandings, fanatical beliefs and outright lies he produces. This guy makes Romney look good, and Romney is desperately flopping around like a flounder on the deck.

    March 19, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Bob in Ohio

    I think if those individuals who support Mr. Santorum would actually make the effort to inform themselves of his views of issues, they might at least think twice before voting for him.

    March 19, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. Maryellen

    There is not one GOP candidate that is capable of being the President of the United States. The in-fighting going on between the four of them is disgraceful; although Ron Paul to a much lesser degree. I really don't know if I can stand it until November, listening to them rant could lead to a nervous breakdown.

    March 19, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. rickwh

    Santorum, like the idiot he is, took an English only position while campaigning in PUERTO RICO!!! O.K. if this wasn't dumb enough he then claimed he was misquoted! Apparently he doesn't know that there are little gadgets out there called recording devices that clearly show he was not misquoted. Then he says congratulations to Mitt Romney and goes on record after that basically saying he really didn't mean it. – Do you people really want this guy to be the leader of the free world? His judgement is poor and he apparently has no problem lying to his supporters.

    March 19, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. eddy

    Sanitorium..given his audience, HAD, as he has in the past played the race this case white, english, "christian" voters. For him to critisize Rommnety for flipping (which Rommney does)is quite humorous.

    March 19, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Larry L

    @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.

    Is the semi-colon proper punctuation after the word "improvement"? Wouldn't a period be more appropriate?

    March 19, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Sniffit

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

    Yes, but by declaring it, the GOP/Teatrolls believe it would allow them to kick in a whole unch more of tha "Amurikan exceptionalizms" they love so much. You know, it'll be wonderful things like "everone can vote...except people who don't speak Engrish"..."everyone can get a driver's license or state ID....except people who can't speak Engrish"...."everyone can get health care coverage....except people who can't speak Engrish"..."everyone can get a job...except people who can't speak Engrish"....etc. Yep, that good ole' Amurikan exceptionalizms.

    March 19, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. MikeRavens71

    Jon: you and Santorum have no clue what you are saying. There is no federal law and is NOT in the constitution that residents of a state have to speak ONLY ENGLISH......that's just absurd. Puerto Rico is bilingual and its decided on the state and local levels.....when New Mexico and Hawaii were accepted as States they were accepted as fully bilingual just like Puerto Rico now.....Romney is correct.

    March 19, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. jprockwall

    Rick Santorum should CHILL THAT WHINE, as least long enough to appear presidential by offering a proper Congrats to Mitt Romney, who, btw, has always extended the courtesy to you.

    March 19, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Wait...Whatt??


    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...............

    WTF?? What exactly were the working languages of Hawaii and Alaska in 1958, if not English??? You must get your "facts" from faux news!

    March 19, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. mom2homer

    Perhaps if Santorum is elected president of America, he'll get to meet the presidents of Europe, Africa, and Asia!

    March 19, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. John

    I think it's disgusting and arrogant that Santorum would have the audacity to ask Puerto Ricans to make English their official language when their native language is Spanish. I only speak English but I can imagine how I would feel if someone told me that I suddenly had to get used to another language just to please them. Santorum is an idiot. This guy will never win the White House because he is so far to the right he turns the average voter right off.

    March 19, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. john

    this is great stuff...all this Christian brotherhood....aahhhhhhh......can't ya just feel it???

    March 19, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Mike

    "But this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country", said Santorum. Does he believe that Puerto Rico is actually a country?

    March 19, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. LaLa

    Religion, and the people who use it to gain power (today: Ricky S, 600 years ago: the Pope/Catholic church), are the root of all evil in this world. There is a reason the first amendment to the constitution calls for the sepeation of church and state. But you know what? It's probably a good thing Ricky is gaining such momentum. His extreme right wing beliefs will make him so easily beatable in the national election, the debates between him and Obama would be serious comedic entertainment!

    March 19, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Edwin

    DrCole: if Romney said 1) the government CAN'T create jobs, but 2) as President, he CAN create jobs, he is either extremely bad at lying or extremely bad and simple logic.

    Either the government CAN or it CAN'T. Not both. Maybe his plan for the government does have policies to create jobs (I personally doubt it, but maybe) - but if so, then he believes it CAN. So why does he lie and say otherwise?

    March 19, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. 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 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Dr. Cole wrote:

    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.
    If that is the case, then why did nearly 50,000 manufacturing sites shut down during the Bush administration when regulations were relaxed, taxes were cut, and the economy was supposedly booming? Republicans ran the Congress for over a decade. Republicans ran the White House for 8 years, during which time we witnessed the worst recession this country has ever seen.

    Maybe, just maybe, your clinic failed in 2011 because of other factors than what you attribute it to. The Affordable Care Act was not passed until 2010, and it had little or no impact on care providers in 2010 or 2011. The only impact it had was for health insurers to not drop people, allow parents to carry kids until they were older. If anything, you should have had more business because more people were insured, and able to pay for your services.

    March 19, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. jprockwall

    Santorum, chill the whine and extend to Romney the same courtesy he has always extended to you: "congratulations".

    March 19, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. GaryB

    Santorum made a statement that he thought would be an easy way to score points with his far right base (the whiners who blame outsiders - hispanics, imagined Kenyan muslims, evil liberals, etc. – for all their problems rather than taking responsibility for their own shortcomings. The problem is, almost all Pueto Ricans learn both Spanish and English in school, so the quote revealed him to be not only an opportunist but ignorant and willfully offensive as well. But actually, his blaming Romney for his error is in keeping with the beliefs of his base, who are always looking for somebody else to blame.

    March 19, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  21. Gerry Daley

    Neither Santorum nor any of the other candidates is capable of being President. of the US. They are utterly without compassion or conviction, will say anything to play to the ignorant "base" and religious fanatics and bigots who know comprise the GOP. They are *all* utterly horrific candidates and unworthy of the office. This is what the GOp has created, and now they can live with it.

    March 19, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Olaf Big

    My first reaction too was, wow, Santorum's views may be straight out of middle ages, but at least he can stick to an unpopular position if he believes in it. However, on a closer look, this is nothing more than a shrewd tactical move. Santorum knew he had no chance in Puerto Rico, English or no English, so he just chose the lost batte to curry favor with his base.

    March 19, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. Logic N LA

    Jon-Obviously you don't know much about history. The English controlled the Hawaiian Islands for many years, so they already spoke English when they became a state. Alaska- was mostly populated by foreigners ( it still has a very small population) and they natives in outlying areas do still speak in their tongue.
    How about us asking Puerto Rico if they want to be part of the U.S. before we decide how they should speak. They did not ask to become a territory in the first place. But like Hawaii- who would LOVE to have their soveriegnty back – they were told they were a part of the country.

    March 19, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Heather

    Why is Santorum constantly twisting Romney's words to make Romney sound like he's flip-flopping? Romney has said from the beginning, and he restated this in Puerto Rico, that English must be the official language of government, which it already is in Puerto Rico. Santorum went into Puerto Rico and made the people there feel like they'd have to give up their Spanish language altogether, and the culture that goes with it. He deserved to lose big.

    March 19, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Jamie from Riverside

    I read Rick Santorum's ridiculous proclemation about his condition for P.R. to attain statehood last week. He gets clobbered and then blasts Mitt Romney.
    I just love passive-aggressive people.

    March 19, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14