Obama Wants U.S. Kids to Speak Spanish?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 9, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English, they will learn English. You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish.


DAVIS ASMAN, GUEST HOST: Well, that sound bite speaks for itself.

And Joey Vento is here to react. Joey now is owner of Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia. He has made a national headline for himself in his speak- English sign. It sit in his storefront window. If you want a cheesesteak from Joey, you have got to order in English.

Joey, welcome.


Video: Watch David Asman's interview with Joseph Vento

ASMAN: what did you think of what Obama said?

VENTO: David, is a pleasure to be on your show.

I have got to make one correction on my sign. It says: "This is America. When ordering, please speak English." It does not mean you are not going to get served.

ASMAN: All right.

VENTO: You might not get what you thought you ordered. That's all.

ASMAN: So, you're a lot more polite.

But what do you think about what Obama said?

VENTO: This man, I don't know what is in his water, if he's drinking any water. This man is a sick man. He is a scary man. I am outraged. I'm really mad.

I mean, I have been a proponent for English to be the official language for over two years now. I can't support any politician that doesn't agree on that. You are here, you must learn English. You must learn it now. We're not here to speak Spanish. You can learn all the languages you want, but English is the language that should be official in this country.

And I would like to make this statement right now for the thousands and thousands of e-mails over the last couple years I got in support of the English, which 80 percent of the people agree it should be the official language. If you believe in Joey Vento's English stand, you have got to go against this man. This man is bad for the country. Go against all your politicians. E-mail them. Make phone calls. Do whatever it takes.


ASMAN: Joey, let me ask you. I got to tell you, my wife is from Nicaragua. Spanish is her first language. She is for English only. How many of those e-mails that you get are from people who may be of a Hispanic or some other background, where English is not their first language?

VENTO: Right. I get them from all languages, Spanish. You name them, I have got e-mails for them. I have got them at my store. Anybody that thinks I'm lying, I will come down there and show you.

They want English. They are glad to come to this country. You assimilate. You learn the English language. You're successful.


ASMAN: Well, Joey, let me just say one thing about what Obama said.

He said, look, we all grew up having high school French or Spanish or whatever, and we should all be focusing on learning a second language.

Let me just play another little clip and see if you agree with this statement that Obama made.


OBAMA: It is embarrassing — it is embarrassing when Europeans come over here. They all speak English. They speak French. They speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say is, merci beaucoup.


ASMAN: Well, I don't care about whether we go over to Europe, but shouldn't American kids learn to speak a second language?

VENTO: That should be a choice, if they want it to be. It should not be forced upon them. And it should not be where we have a dual language in the country.

We have to adopt one language. You can learn a hundred languages. I have no problem with that. In fact, there are hundreds of languages. Should we learn them all? If we learned Spanish, what are we saying about the other languages? How about Italian as a second language? How about Japanese, Korean, Russian? We're not saying...


ASMAN: That's a good point. Yes, who are you going to choose?

VENTO: Right.


ASMAN: By the way, I am going to tell you one thing that is going to make you even madder. When my wife took her citizenship vow, she was asked by the judge to translate it for some other new Americans who did not speak enough English to understand.

VENTO: You see, I don't understand it.

This guy, with this — he scares me. I'm telling all the people out there, please, please, vote these people out of office. And if they can't tell you that English will be the official language before the election, vote them all out, and do not be afraid of who you're going to get. It is not going to be worse than what we already have. We have got to speak.

Remember the Constitution. We the people, they work for us. What is the problem with everybody? What are we afraid of?

ASMAN: That's true. They're public servants.

VENTO: Look at me. You got to hire — listen, this is this so...


ASMAN: Joey, you are going to need a commercial break just to calm down. I don't want you to get sick about this.

VENTO: One other thing.

ASMAN: Quickly.

VENTO: No, I'm happy. I am calm.

This guy wants to go after the rich people — and that includes a guy like myself — and tax me. And the same people who are out there cheering him, yes, go after them rich people, don't they realize the rich people hire people, not the poor people? And when it gets too bad, who do you think is going to get laid off? The same people that...


ASMAN: Joey Vento, as always, you have got a lot to say on this.

If you want the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia, go to Geno's Steaks. He will serve you no matter how you feel about this, but he may argue with you a little bit.

VENTO: That's OK.

ASMAN: Great to see you, Joey.

VENTO: Put me on the show for a half-hour. Let me get my venom out.


ASMAN: We will do that, Joey, absolutely. Thanks a lot.

VENTO: My pleasure.


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