Earlier this week Rick Santorum decided he didn't want to win Puerto Rico's upcoming GOP primary. "They'd have to speak English, that would be a requirement." Santorum said as a stipulation for Puerto Rico attaining statehood. "That's a requirement we put on other states. It's a condition for entering the union." Santorum walked the comment halfway back Thursday, but continued to insist on the supremacy of English in state law. "English should be taught here, and everyone should speak English here," he said.
Santorum recognizes that he is going to likely lose Puerto Rico—the popular governor of the island has endorsed Mitt Romney—so he's trading in some dog whistling for xenophobic GOP voters in the rest of the country. What's amusing though is Rick Santorum's clear lack of understanding in U.S. law.
If, as he first insisted, English had to be on the books as official state law, Santorum would have never been able to enter the United States Senate. His home Pennsylvania is one of 19 states that do not designate an official language. If Santorum's logic were extended to existing states—including others he hopes to win such as West Virginia, Texas, or Wisconsin—the flag would have a lot fewer stars. It'd be surprising if Santorum is unaware of Pennsylvania's lack of a law since Republicans in the state House introduced two measures to make English the official language this past fall.
For the record, Puerto Rico would already qualify under Santorum's arbitrary guidelines. English and Spanish are both official languages in the territory, though Spanish is more commonly spoken.
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