A politician who spends every waking moment pandering to the teabaggers and other assorted wingnuts who dominate the Republican Party is going to have days like this:
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Wednesday that Puerto Rico should only gain statehood if the territory makes English its main language.
In an interview with a San Juan newspaper, El Vocero, Santorum said English would have to be the “main language” if Puerto Rico were to become a state.
“As in any other state, you have to comply with this and any federal law. And that is that English has to be the main language,” Santorum told the paper. “There are other states with more than one language as is the case in Hawaii, but to be a state in the United States, English has to be the main language.”
Here’s how it happened:
Santorum is tired. He doesn’t know shit about Puerto Rico, and he doesn’t really care. All he knows is that Republican voters back home aren’t crazy about Mexicans. He finds himself talking to some newspaper editor with a Spanish accent. He’s asked about Puerto Rican statehood. He remembers the day Rick Perry said something humane about illegal immigrants. Adios, Señor Perry. I’d better talk tough or the wingnuts will get suspicious. He decides to play the “English only” card. Even as the words escape his lips, he knows he’s stepped in it. But he really had no choice. The base must be appeased.
Mitt Romney feels this same pressure. It’s one of the main reasons Barack Obama is going to be re-elected.