Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum told Puerto Ricans on Wednesday they would have to make English their primary language if they want to pursue U.S. statehood, a statement at odds with the U.S. Constitution.Santorum is so stupid, in fact, that he thinks other states are bound by such a requirement:
"Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law," Santorum said. "And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language."That's obviously not true, despite the best efforts of nativist conservatives. And that's not the only evidence that his campaign didn't bother preparing a briefing packet for Santorum:
While Santorum said it was not the role of the president to advocate for Puerto Rico’s statehood, he said, “To me, it doesn’t make any sense to be in America and not want to be a state and have full rights as a United States citizen.”Puerto Ricans, of course, are United States citizens. Sigh.
Unsurprisingly, some Puerto Ricans are a bit miffed.
Santorum’s comments left one of his prominent supporters – [former Puerto Rico Sen.] Oreste Ramos – so upset that Ramos, a former Puerto Rican senator, rescinded his endorsement.Pedro Pierluisi, the resident commission of Puerto Rico in the House, wasn't amused:
“Such a requirement would be unconstitutional, and also would clash with our sociological and linguistic reality, as a question of principle I cannot back a person who holds that position,” Oreste said, according to El Vocero. “As a Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen, I consider the position of Mr. Santorum offensive.”
La visión de Santorum es limitada y estrecha sobre lo que debe ser Estados Unidos.Meanwhile, Mitt Romney's campaign has gone for the kill:
[Santorum's vision over what the U.S. should be is limited and close-minded.]
"Puerto Rico currently recognizes both English and Spanish as the official languages of the commonwealth," said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Governor Romney believes that English is the language of opportunity and supports efforts to expand English proficiency in Puerto Rico and across America. However, he would not, as a prerequisite for statehood, require that the people of Puerto Rico cease using Spanish."There won't be any drama on Saturday.