PHOENIX — The state's top school official apologized and repudiated anonymous blog posts he has made for at least the last four years equating welfare recipients with "lazy pigs'' and declaring there should be no Spanish-language radio, TV, billboards and newspapers.
But John Huppenthal said this afternoon he has no intention of resigning the post to which he was first elected in 2010. And Huppenthal said he will not drop his bid for re-election this year.
Huppenthal said the comments were not meant in mean spirit but simply his effort to spur a public policy debate on important issues. He said that is why he wrote, "This is America, speak English.''
"I believe to the soul, to the core of my being, that the ability to speak, read and write English is the key to opportunity for students,'' he said at a hastily assembled press conference. And he said that's why his office has pushed to help ensure that students achieve fluency.
"That does not set aside that my blog comment was hurtful and I renounce that blog comment,'' Huppenthal said. "I apologize for that way of expressing what was a deeply held value myself.''
And he said that his comments about immigration were misunderstood.
He said he was trying to express his view that, given that "Caucasians aren't reproducing themselves,'' the state's economic future is tied to immigration.