[lg policy] Puerto Rico Primary: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum Offend, While Attempting to Win Voters

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 18 19:58:55 UTC 2012

Puerto Rico Primary: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum Offend, While Attempting
to Win Voters[image: PolicyMic]

As the GOP primary in Puerto Rico approaches, frontrunner Mitt Romney
criticized U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for her lack of
support of making English the official language of Puerto Rico and
requiring that all citizens be proficient in it. The GOP candidates have
chosen a harsh line as they attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters for
tomorrow’s primary.

Romney stated<http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/03/17/romney-criticizes-sotomayor-in-puerto-rico/>,
“In looking at Justice Sotomayor, my view was her philosophy is quite
different than my own and that's the reason why I would not support her as
a justice for the Supreme Court. I would be happy to have a justice of
Puerto Rican descent or a Puerto Rican individual on the Supreme Court, but
they would have to share my philosophy, that comes first."

This may come as a deterrent to Romney, as Sotomayor is the first Supreme
Court Justice of Puerto Rican decent in the U.S. This puts him at an
uncomfortable position with voters and at odds with Gov. Luis Fortuno, the
Puerto Rican governor who has sided with him on policy.

But, though Romney’s comments may detract from his support on primary day,
his opponent Rick Santorum received a fair share of his own criticism for
proposing that Puerto Rico would adopt English as its official language in
order to gain statehood, which has been a major political issue in the
region.  Santorum told a local Puerto Rican newspaper, "I have no doubt
that one of the requirements that will be put forth to Congress is a
requirement that English would be universal here on the island. That
doesn't mean that people can't speak Spanish in their homes, or in their
business, or on the street, but that everyone would have a proficiency in

Romney made clear that he holds the same view at the presidential debate in
January. But he appeared to backtrack on that position yesterday, when he
told reporters: “English has been an official language of Puerto Rico for
100 years. Selecting the words of your governor, Spanish is the language of
Puerto Rico's heritage; English is the language of opportunity. I would
hope that young people would learn both languages, but particularly

Romney’s effort to realign his words and regain Puerto Ricans’ allegiance
on this issue may pay off.  Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu
believes that Santorum’s language has ruined his campaign in Puerto Rico:
“Santorum embarrassed himself so badly in Puerto Rico that it's quite easy
for Gov. Romney to be in Illinois these days."

Romney originally planned to spend three days in Puerto Rico, but he has
cut his stay to 24 hours so that he may return to Illinois, which will host
the GOP primary on Tuesday. There are 20 delegates up for grabs in Sunday’s


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