Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich both spoke at the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami on Friday morning. Puerto Rican statehood was an important issue to some in the audience and it was brought for the speakers to opine.
Gingrich favored Puerto Rican statehood when he was Speaker as part of his blossoming hispander self, and that position has not changed.
On this day, Mitt Romney revealed that he also welcomes a Spanish-speaking island (over 95 percent) as a state in our union.
Following is a snip of the pertinent remarks:
Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich Pressed on Puerto Rico Statehood in South Florida, ABC News, January 27, 2012
An hour later, Romney addressed the issue in his remarks at the conference, receiving a warmer response from the crowd, including from Cuevas-Neunder, who stood and applauded the former Massachusetts governor.
“I’m looking forward to the time when the people of Puerto Rico make their decision about becoming a state,” he said as the audience cheered. “Wow, we’ve got some friends here.
“I think it’s in November you’re having a referendum and I expect the people of Puerto Rico will decide that they want to become a state and I can tell you that I will work with [Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuno] to make sure that if that vote comes out in favor of statehood, that we will go through the process in Washington to provide statehood to Puerto Rico.”
That’s further than he went with Univision’s Jorge Ramos Wednesday, when he said “my choice is to let them make their choice.”
What about the choice of the American people? Why don’t we get a referendum on whether we want a Spanish-speaking non-American state in the union? Culturally they are as distant as Haiti or Mexico. What if Haiti begs to become a state?
Puerto Rican statehood would be a dangerous doorway to universal Spanish bilingualism in America and cannot be allowed.
The English language is one of the few remaining connectors of national identity we have left. We shouldn’t weaken it further.
You can watch the event on C-SPAN.