Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney Flip Flops On English As Official Language

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The Mitt Romney of 2008 believed that English should be the official language of the United States. But when the Mitt Romney of 2012 traveled to Puerto Rico in search of delegates, he left that position back on the main land.

When Romney touched down in the potential 51st state Thursday, ABC reported that the former Mass. governor repeatedly said he would put no pre-conditions on Puerto Rican statehood. That included removing Spanish as one of the commonwealth's official languages.

Puerto Rico's Republican primary is Sunday and offers 23 winner-take-all delegates to the winner.

And the Romney camoaign jumped on the opportunity to slam Rick Santorum for his comments Wednesday that Puerto Rico would have to adopt English as its official language in order to be granted statehood.

During his campaign stops in Puerto Rico, Romney did mention that he had a preference for English and that he would like to see all Puerto Rican children learn English, calling it the “language of opportunity.”

But that preference was a lot stronger in December 2007, when English First Political Victory Fund endorsed Romney as its candidate of choice, according to a PR Newswire release.

"Mitt Romney has been a veritable Rock of Gibraltar on official English," said Jim Boulet, Jr., executive director of English First Political Victory Fund, when making the endorsement.

"In 1971, Massachusetts became the first state to make bilingual education mandatory. Yet when Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he courageously endorsed a referendum calling for repeal of that failed policy. Both Romney and the children of Massachusetts won that year," Boulet said.

A Cox News Service article on January 23, 2008 pointed out the hypocrisy of Romney and Rudy Giuliani, who was also running for the Republican presidential nomination, for advertising in Spanish while promoting English as the only official language of the U.S.

His rival, Mitt Romney, is greeted with a similar response when he advocates making English the nation's official language. Meanwhile, both men have turned to the airwaves -- in Spanish -- to go after voters in Florida, a key state in the Republican primary and a must-win for Giuliani, according to political analysts.

In fact, the only Republican candidate in 2008 that didn't support making English the official language of the U.S. was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). During the June 5, 2007 primary debate, McCain was the only candidate to raise his hand in opposition to the idea, citing negotiations in his state with Native Americans that take place in their own languages.

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