A Romney Pander in Puerto Rico?
10:25 PM, Mar 18, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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 ABC's This Week Sunday morning, Jonathan Karl asked Rick Santorum about his recent statement in Puerto Rico that English as the de facto language should be a prerequisite for statehood. "There's only 15 percent, according to the census, [that] are fluent in English in Puerto Rico," Santorum said. "And what I have said is that obviously Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking country -- excuse me, a Spanish-speaking island, not a country but a Spanish-speaking island -- and they'll continue to speak Spanish, and of course that's their culture, and they have every right to do so."
Santorum went on to similarly accuse Romney of pandering. "This is the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney to go and pander for votes, knowing full well that there's no way he would stand for...Puerto Rico coming into statehood without having proficiency in English," he said. "Yet to get 20 delegates, he's willing to say whatever he needs to say in order to get those votes. And I'm hopeful the people of Puerto Rico will see through the charade of what Governor Romney will do to get votes."