President Bush on Friday:
Asked at a news briefing in the Rose Garden on Friday whether he believed the anthem would have the same value in Spanish as it did in English, Bush said flatly, “No, I don’t.”
“And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English,” Bush said. “And they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”
Running for President in 2000/2004:
From the Christian Science Monitor:
There have been exceptions, of course, and the most prominent one is the most current: President Bush won with about 35 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2000, making party history when he stumped in Spanish, hired Spanish-speakers for all media-relations departments in the US government, and became the first president to give a radio address in Spanish.
Another transparent political ploy to appeal to nativist voters. Speaking Spanish or English or Apsaaloke doesn’t make one an American today, just as speaking German or French or Polish didn’t one hundred years ago. These politicians trying to inflame nationalist sentiment are just ignoring the facts about language assimilation, the contributions of migrants from all over the world, and the core of what it means and has meant to be an American: that this place offers everyone a chance at a new and better life.