Did Bush change tune on anthem?
Song played in Spanish on campaign trail, government Web site
10:33 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 3, 2006
From Wire Reports
WASHINGTON — President Bush declared recently that the national anthem should be sung in English not Spanish, but he evidently never told his own government or campaign organizations.
The State Department posts four Spanish versions of The Star-Spangled Banner on its Web site, and accounts from the 2000 election suggest that the song was at times performed in Spanish at Bush campaign events. Critics even turned up one reference to Mr. Bush singing the anthem in Spanish on the trail, but there was no confirmation.
The furor over a newly released Spanish version of the anthem has underscored once again the power of symbols in American politics. At a time when the immigration debate in Washington has divided Republicans on Capitol Hill, drawn hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets and triggered a nationwide boycott, all sides are scrutinizing the words and records of the president and other politicians for signs of inconsistency.
Mr. Bush waded into the matter after British producer Adam Kidron issued “Nuestro Himno.” Responding to a reporter, Mr. Bush said: “I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English. And I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English, and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”
In his book, American Dynasty, Kevin Phillips wrote that Mr. Bush “would drop in at Hispanic festivals and parties, sometimes joining in singing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in Spanish, sometimes partying with a ‘Viva Bush’ mariachi band flown in from Texas.”
White House spokesmen and former campaign operatives said they could not recall whether that happened, though given the level of Mr. Bush’s Spanish proficiency, they seemed dubious.
Article from the Dallas Morning News.