Santorum’s Gaffes: The Netherlands, Puerto Rico and now California
First, Rick Santorum displayed his ignorance and managed to insult an entire country when falsely claiming that in the Netherlands euthanasia makes up ten percent of all deaths, and that forced euthanasia accounts for five percent of all deaths there. Santorum also said that people are euthanized involuntarily because they are old or sick and further claimed that elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go into hospitals out of fear that they will not come out if they go in there sick — because of “budget” reasons — and rather go to other countries.
Then, getting a little closer to home, he displayed some more ignorance, offended an alienated the people in Puerto Rico — perhaps contributing to his primary defeat there — by incorrectly asserting that if Puerto Ricans want their Commonwealth to become a state, they must make English their primary language. He also suggested that under American law, English must be the main language. (The U.S. Constitution does not designate an official language, nor is there a requirement that a territory adopt English as its primary language in order to become a state.)
Finally, making it all the way to one of our 50 states, a state that has almost twice as many people as the Netherlands and Puerto Rico combined, a state with a whopping 172 GOP delegates — the most of any state — Santorum manages to tell one of the biggest falsehoods of them all.
While campaigning in Wisconsin, Santorum (the same guy who has called colleges “indoctrination mills” that make students liberal and Godless, and who has called President Obama a “snob” for wanting kids to get educated) claimed without batting an eye:
I was just reading something last night from the state of California. And that the California universities – I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught.
In fact, of the 10 UC system schools, just one (San Francisco) doesn’t offer American history courses. But that’s because it doesn’t offer any humanities courses at all — it’s a medical school.
Meanwhile, Berkeley, Irvine, Davis, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz all offer numerous American history courses. All require students to take U.S. history before they can graduate.
University of California spokesperson Brooke Converse emailed to note that every single UC undergraduate program is required to study “American history and institutions,” though specific requirements vary at each campus.
One wonders what Santorum will next have to say about the state with the second largest GOP delegate count, Texas. While it may be very difficult for a social conservative to alienate Texas social conservatives, I am confident that Santorum will think of something, if he gets that far.