Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum reiterated on Sunday that Puerto Ricans would need to work on their English before the U.S. territory could become a state.


"What I've said is that obviously Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking country, a Spanish-speaking island, not a country, but Spanish-speaking island, they will continue to speak Spanish and that's their culture and they have every right to do so," he said on ABC News' This Week. "But what I've said is that there should be fluency in English as well as Spanish and that, if they want to, and I think that it's just makes sense, just like here in this country."

"I mean, Governor Romney and I have both said that we would like English as the official language of this country yet when Governor Romney went to Puerto Rico he said, 'Oh, no you don't have to speak English as a requirement to be a state,' yet he wants English to be the official language of this country."

"This is the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney to go and pander for votes, knowing full well that there is no way that he would stand for that as Puerto Rico coming into statehood without having proficiency in English, yet to get 20 delegates, he is willing to say whatever he needs to say in order to get those votes," Santorum continued. "Yet I'm hopeful that the people of Puerto Rico see through the charade of what Governor Romney will do to get votes."

The issue of statehood has been a contentious one in Puerto Rican history. The question of whether to become a state or remain a commonwealth comes up to vote on November 6, although the final say will rest with the U.S. Congress. The people of Puerto Rico have voted on the issue before and each time they have decided against statehood.

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With prior reporting by David Ferguson