CT woman creates t-shirts with Cardona slogan

WALLINGFORD — After Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona described himself “as American as apple pie and rice and beans,” a local woman has begun selling T-shirts printed with the slogan.

Ashley Linden told the television station WFSB that sales of the shirts are doing well.

“I’m kind of a little bit been blown away. I’m really excited about it, I’ve got a little family crew that’s going to be helping me make them,” Linden told the outlet.

Cardona’s phrase came during a Dec. 23 speech after President-Elect Joe Biden officially gave Cardona the nod to be his Secretary of Education.

In it, Cardona recalled his grandparents decision to leave Puerto Rico and come to the U.S., and his birth at the Yale Acres public housing project in Meriden, where his parents instilled in him a respect for hard work, community service and education.

“I was blessed to attend the public schools of my hometown of Meriden, Connecticut where I was able to expand my horizons and become the first in my family to graduate college and become a teacher a principal, an assistant superintendent in the same community that gave me so much,” he said. “That— that is the power of America. And I, being bilingual and bicultural, am as American as apple pie and rice and beans.”

The quote almost immediately lit up on social media, shared by staffers for Gov. Ned Lamont’s office and the official Twitter account of UConn’s Neag School of Education.

News that Biden was considering Cardona, the state’s first latino commissioner of the Department of Education, leaked prior to the official announcement, when the Washington Post reported Cardona was one of two candidates on Biden’s short list for the cabinet position. The other was Leslie T. Fenwick, dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Education, the Post reported.

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