Skip to comments.Sen. Marco Rubio scolds Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign for calling Mitt Romney anti-immigrant
Posted on 01/25/2012 7:27:05 AM PST by Happy Valley Dude
Sen. Marco Rubio scolded Newt Gingrichs presidential campaign over a Spanish-language radio ad that accuses rival Mitt Romney of being anti-immigrant.
This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. Its inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesnt belong in this campaign, Rubio told The Miami Herald when asked about the ad.
The truth is that neither of these two men is anti-immigrant, Rubio said. Both are pro-legal immigration and both have positive messages that play well in the Hispanic community.
Rubios sharp rebuke comes a day after he subtly corrected Gingrich for comparing Romney to former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, branded by conservatives as a turncoat who left the party before Rubio beat him in 2010.
Both Romney and Gingrich are in Miami on Wednesday for speeches about Cuba and Latin America.
The criticisms from someone of Rubios stature in the Republican Party comes as polls show a near-even race, albeit with Gingrich surging.
Rubio plans to stay neutral in the race. Hes a potential running mate whom both candidates would love to have on the ballot. And hes gaining iconic status among many national Republicans who see him as a face of the future in a nation thats growing more Latino.
Miami, Rubios hometown, is a key battleground. The candidates are all wooing the Cuban-exile community here, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the Republican vote in the largest county of the nations largest swing state.
Already, about 54,000 early ballots have been cast in Miami Dade, where nearly three-quarters of the Republicans are Hispanic.
Rubios statement was fueled by the explosive, partisan debate over immigration, a key issue this election season as both parties aggressively court the Hispanic vote.
Democrats and liberals have tried to paint the Republican candidates as anti-immigrant or even anti-Hispanic for opposing legislation such as the DREAM Act, which provides a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants mainly college students and soldiers.
Rubio, who frets that the DREAM Act gives too much amnesty to a broader class of immigrants, and other Republicans have accused Democrats of playing rank ethnic politics.
So when Gingrichs radio spot described Romney as the most anti-immigrant candidate, Rubio and others felt he not only crossed the line he was adopting liberal criticisms.
Earlier in the campaign, Gingrich was accused of sounding like a Democrat when he bashed Romneys time leading Bain Capital, a private-equity firm that, at times, had profited from restructuring companies and laying people off.
Despite the condemnation from conservatives, though, Gingrich went on to surge in South Carolina, where he drubbed Romney on Saturday.
Two days before, Gingrich began running his Spanish-language ad, which begins in shocking fashion by playing an excerpt of Fidel Castro repeating his trademark line: Patria o muerte, venceremos! Fatherland or death, we shall overcome.
Romney in 2007 had mistakenly associated the Castro line with a call for a free Cuba during a speech. Some in the crowd of the Cuban-exile community were aghast.
Unlike Romney, who uses statements from Castro, Newt Gingrich has fought against the regime, the ad says, noting that Gingrich helped pass the Cuba-trade crackdown law, Helms-Burton.
He supported the formation of Radio and TV Marti; and is in favor of holding the Castro brothers accountable for the shooting down of the Brothers to the Rescue airplanes, the ad says, referencing a 1996 incident where anti-Castro activists were killed by the Cuban military near the islands airspace.
Ironically, the ad bears some of the handiwork of Rep. David Rivera, a Rubio friend and confidante who backs Gingrich.
Rivera this fall helped stitch together a boycott of a proposed Univision debate by the Republican presidential candidates over the way the Spanish-language network reported a story about Rubios brother-in-law.
Rubio bears no personal ill-will to Gingrich, who helped support him when Rubio was Florida House Speaker in 2007 and 2008. Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush are headlining a Friday Hispanic Leadership Network event where theyve invited all the major GOP candidates. Gingrich on Monday night began airing a new, positive Spanish-language TV ad.
The candidates Republican candidates initially balked at attending a U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce forum tied to Univision, but Gingrich and Romney have decided to attend today. Gingrich was being interviewed by Univision when word of Rubios criticism broke. On Tuesday on the campaign trail, Gingrich addressed large, enthusiastic crowds in St. Petersburg and Sarasota, where he invoked Rubios name.
"As many of you know Jose Mallea is helping us with our campaign. He was Marco Rubios campaign manager. We discovered last night that Mitt Romney has picked up Charlie Crists campaign people," Gingrich said in St. Petersburg amid a smattering of boos at the mention of the former governors name. "That sort of tells you everything you needed to know about this contest."
Turns out, Mallea worked for Crist years ago as well. And Romney has some high-profile Rubio workers on his staff just as Gingrich does.
Later in the day, when asked about the use of his name and the linking of Romney and Crist, Rubio didnt sound pleased about it.
"Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative, Rubio said. And he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/25/v-fullstory/2607255/sen-marco-rubio-scolds-newt-gingrichs.html#storylink=cpy
SIGH. Newt’s a better candidate than Myth, but he keeps slipping into LIB territory!
Why is it that the year we MOST need to win, we have such thin soup to choose from? Something is seriously wrong with the GOP.
“Rubio plans to stay neutral in the race”
Kind of tipped your hand here Marco!
I never thought Rubio would stoop so low as to defend Romney. He is a RINO now. Is there anyone left in cupboard that is not a RINO?
Let’s see: Beck, Coulter, Rubio, Hume, Christie.......the list is getting really long.
well deserved criticism. Gingrich is going after the amnesty vote here, in SPANISH so we don’t find out about it.
Yet again Newt is using DNC talking points of being "anti-immigrant," similar to attacking Romney for being a corporate raider. Sheesh, who's the bonehead in Newt's campaign that thinks these issues are better than Romney's liberal record and numerous flip-flops??
Have you seen Newt’s ad? It definitely uses LIB arguments.
Rubio doesn’t magically turn into a RINO just because he has a problem with Newt. Newt has fight — Newt has a lot of great stuff going for him — Myth is a loser all around — but the reality is that Newt is a loose cannon that strays into weird territory at random times. I think Rubio’s doing Newt a favor by letting him know he’s strayed into that weird territory again.
It’s something we need to be mindful of — and vigilant about — should Newt wrest the presidency from Zer0. We will need to be on point to keep him aimed true. It’s just a fact.
Exactly what does the ad say? What makes it an accusation that Romney is "anti immigrant?"
I guess you support amnesty like Newt? Thats a RINO position, IMHO.
I’ve got just the answer for that....see my tagline.
calling Mitt Romney anti-immigrant
But Romney is anti-immigrant
Romney supports the illegal aliens in their felonious activities in our country...
Wanting the AMNESTY Bill passed
and saying thisngs like
“We cant send them all back”
“we must find a pathway to citizenship”
are not the words of someone who is for immigrants and immigration...
Pretending to invent Alien Registration Cards AKA Green Cards for immigrants so they can get jobs while illegal aliuens without one cant ???
when they have been used for decades ???
(I had one in 1971)
Makes Romney no better than Al “I invented the Internet” Gore..
What will Romney suggest next ???
That we develop a round thing with spokes made of wood iron andor rubber to make it easier to maneuver down the roads ???
Maybe he will think of
Rubbing to sticks together to make fire ???
Youz da man ...
BTW someone needs to tell that doofus Romney that not having a green card never stopped an illegal alien from getting a job..
Romney lives on such an alternative planet...
In my opinion, Marco Rubio is one of them.
If Newt Gingrich is going to beat Obama, he will need their support. Calling them "traitors" and "RINO"s and throwing them under the bus is a suicidal move.
Maybe this will put an end to speculation of Rubio as a VP candidate. I like what I’ve heard up til now, but here we see the danger of rushing to embrace someone over a few good speeches until their belief system and policy ideas are completely vetted.
There were always signs of acute RINO-itis in Rubio, starting with his (apparent) disagreement with doing something about illegals.
There is a lot of mud being slung, and not all of it is orchestrated by the actual candidates.
At a certain point you have to tune ot the noise and just look at what the candidate says and their record and decide if you like and trust him or not.
I dont trust Romney. I wish Newt diid not have certain baggage, but the bottom line for me comes down to not trusting Romney.
“Why is it that the year we MOST need to win, we have such thin soup to choose from? Something is seriously wrong with the GOP.”
My thoughts as well. I am despondent over our current choices and their dim prospects for beating a very beatable incumbent president.
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