Santorum to Puerto Rico: No English, No Statehood
Federal law requires English to be principal language, he claims
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2012 1:39 AM CDT
Updated Mar 15, 2012 4:20 AM CDT
Rick Santorum visits La Fortaleza, the governors mansion in San Juan, to meet with Governor Luis Fortuno yesterday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Rick Santorum arrived in Puerto Rico yesterday looking presidential, wearing a suit instead of a sweater vest, and with a Secret Service entourage in tow—but it went wrong after he opened his mouth, reports the New York Times. Asked about the territory's hottest topic, a referendum on statehood this November, the candidate said he supported Puerto Rican's right to self-determination, but added that the mainly Spanish-speaking island would first have to adopt English as its principal language.

"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." In fact, there is no federal law designating English as America's official language, and there is no requirement for a territory to adopt English as its principal language to become a state, Reuters notes. The island, whose 3.7 million residents can't vote in presidential elections, holds its Republican primary on Sunday, and 20 delegates are at stake.

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Comments
Showing 3 of 124 comments
America_Firster
Mar 17, 2012 10:20 AM CDT
How about an independence referendum for Puerto Rico?
Antone123
Mar 16, 2012 6:39 AM CDT
Santorum thought he was in Alabama where they would have given him a slap on the back.
MDD
Mar 16, 2012 4:08 AM CDT
Finally Rick said some think smart!