April 30, 2006

Rice not upset by US national anthem in Spanish

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Unlike President George W. Bush,
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is not upset or offended by
hearing the U.S. national anthem sung in Spanish.

Asked about the issue, which has become a topic of outrage
on conservative talk radio stations, Rice said she had heard
"The Star-Spangled Banner" sung in many different ways.

"I've heard the national anthem done in rap versions,
country versions, classical versions. The individualization of
the American national anthem is quite under way," she said on
the CBS show "Face the Nation."

"From my point of view, people expressing themselves as
wanting to be Americans is a good thing," she added. "I think
what we need to focus on is an immigration policy that is
comprehensive and that recognizes our laws and recognizes our

On Friday, Bush gave a different response to the same
question. "I think the national anthem ought to be sung in
English, and I think people who want to be citizens of this
country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing
the national anthem in English," he said.

The mini-furor followed the release last week of a
recording called "Nuestro Himno" or "Our Anthem" -- a Spanish
version featuring several well-known Hispanic artists.