Tags: Santorum | Puerto | Rico | Statehood

Santorum: English Needed for Puerto Rico Statehood

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says Puerto Rico should gain statehood only if the territory makes English its main language.

The former Pennsylvania senator said during an interview Wednesday with a San Juan newspaper, El Vocero, that English would have to be the "main language" if Puerto Rico were to become a state.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth. Its residents have U.S. citizenship but can only vote for president in the primaries, nor do they have a voting representative in Congress. Puerto Ricans will hold a referendum Nov. 6 on the political status of the island. Statehood is one of three options.

A key sticking point is Puerto Rico's official language, which is Spanish. Spain ruled the island until 1898, when the United States took over.

Santorum was in San Juan campaigning for the GOP presidential primary there on Sunday.

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