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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Santorum: Romney Pandered to Get Puerto Rico Vote

March 19, 2012

Rick Santorum may have lost in Puerto Rico, but he came back with what can only be described as a scathing concession statement, in which his campaign says Mitt Romney “put political expedience and political deception ahead of previously held policy positions” and accuses the former Massachusetts governor of switching positions on English and Puerto Rican statehood.

The unusual release by the campaign “congratulates” Romney, but goes on to say that the former Massachusetts governor “will do and say anything to get votes.”

Santorum and Romney had clashed over the issue of Puerto Rican statehood, and whether the territory should make English its official language (both English and Spanish are the official languages of the territory now). Santorum has said that adopting English as an official language should be a prerequisite for statehood. Romney had no such condition.

 

Following a week of backlash from Santorum’s comments on Puerto Rican statehood, spokeswoman Alice Stewart attempted on CNN's Starting Point to spin Santorum’s remarks that Puerto Ricans should adopt English as their official language to the candidate’s advantage. She said Santorum’s “honest” comments contrast with Romney, who “sold out for [Puerto Rico’s] 20 delegates.”

“People across this country … are not satisfied with the message of Mitt Romney,” she said. “He has tremendous money advantage and he has a lot of support and infrastructure on the ground. He is not winning overwhelmingly in these states, which goes to show he’s not energizing the base. Rick Santorum is doing that.”

Lara Seligman contributed contributed to this article.

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