Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Mitt Romney’s pandering to Puerto Rico shows that he will say anything to win

From the Weekly Standard.

Excerpt:

CNN has projected that Mitt Romney will win Sunday’s primary in Puerto Rico, and Romney will most likely receive all 20 of Puerto Rico’s delegates. Romney had the support of Puerto Rico’s Republican governor, Luis Fortuño, and was expected to win handily.

But Robert G. de Posada, the former president of the conservative Latino Coalition, has an op-ed at the Daily Caller charging that Romney “sold out his conservative principles” in order to win big in the Caribbean territory. De Posada points out that Congress has often required territories with large non-English speaking populations to agree to use English officially within government and in schools before allowing those territories to achieve statehood. Romney, he says, pandered to pro-statehood sentiments in Puerto Rico while ignoring this precedent as well as his own position back on the mainland:

On Thursday, Romney called a radio station in San Juan (Noti-Uno) for an interview with a local reporter. When asked if he would support requiring that English became the principal language of government as part of a petition for statehood, Romney said no. When asked if he thought the legislature should have English as the principal language, once again Romney said no. He even opposed requiring English in the courts and public schools.

In Louisiana and Alabama, Mitt Romney is for English as the official language of the United States. In 2008, when Romney sought the GOP nomination, he was upfront about his opposition to bilingual education and his support for ending it in Massachusetts. But in Puerto Rico, he is a strong advocate of bilingualism and opposes requiring the state to make English the principal language of the legislature, courts and public schools. This only makes sense in the Romney World of Flip Flops.

But Romney took it a step further. He stated that a simple majority of 50% + 1 was enough for him to aggressively support statehood for Puerto Rico. As Rick Santorum said during his trip to Puerto Rico, “We need a significant majority supporting statehood before it’s considered. Why would we want a state where nearly half of its residents do not want to be part of the Union?”

Santorum should be commended for staying true to his conservative principles even when it was not politically convenient. Santorum could have pandered to the pro-statehood governor of Puerto Rico in order to get the 20 delegates at stake, but instead the former senator spoke the truth and told Puerto Rican voters a reality they needed to hear. Immediately after, Romney’s campaign started attacking Santorum and maliciously twisting his comments, telling voters that the former senator was advocating “English-only” and was against Spanish.

In contrast to what the Romney campaign said, Santorum Puerto Rico would have to stress English in addition to Spanish, before getting statehood.

Excerpt:

Rick Santorum Wednesday became the first Republican presidential hopeful in this election to visit Puerto Rico before the island commonwealth’s Sunday primary, taking a controversial stand on statehood that he was forced to defend this morning after losing a key supporter.

[...]“What I said is English has to be learned as a language and this has to be a country where English is widely spoken and used, yes,” Santorum told reporters, stating that the use of English should be a “condition” if Puerto Rico is to become a state. The island, he said, “needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country.”

“I think English and Spanish – obviously Spanish is going to be spoken here on the island – but this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish-speaking country, and right now it is overwhelmingly just Spanish speaking. But it needs to have, in order to fully integrate into American society, English has to be a language that is spoken here also and spoken universally,” Santorum explained.

“I think that would be a condition. I think it’s important. And I think if you talk to most parents, they want their children to learn English. It is essential for children in America to be able to speak English to fully integrate and have full opportunities,” he added. “I don’t think we’re doing any more than, you know, people who come to America on the mainland. We’re not doing them any favors by not teaching them English.

There is a clear contrast between these two men: Mitt Romney is not a good man. He just says what people want to hear in order to win, and then when elected he will govern like a pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, tax-and-spend liberal – that’s what he did in Massachusetts.

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