Fighting fuego with fuego: Spanish ad war erupts in Florida
January 25th, 2012
02:37 PM ET
2 years ago

Fighting fuego with fuego: Spanish ad war erupts in Florida

(CNN) – The radio airwaves in Florida are heating up with dueling Spanish language ads, the latest of which hails from Mitt Romney's campaign.

In a new one-minute spot released Wednesday, Romney takes on rival presidential candidate Newt Gingrich over his role as a consultant at Freddie Mac.

CNN LIVE: Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Republican Party of Florida Debate hosted by Wolf Blitzer and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the Florida primary, go to CNNPolitics.com or to the CNN apps or CNN mobile web site.

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"Gingrich profited from Freddie Mac, one of the reasons for the mortgage collapse that has caused so much damage in our community," the ad's narrator says.

Romney has consistently described Gingrich as a former lobbyist for the mortgage giant, claims the former speaker strongly denies.

Along with criticizing his partnership with Nancy Pelosi in a 2008 commercial on climate change, the ad also attacks Gingrich for a comment he made nearly five years ago about bilingual education.

"Reagan definitely would have never offended us, Hispanics, as Gingrich did by saying that Spanish is the language of the ghetto," the narrator says. "Now, searching for votes, Gingrich wants to change history but the facts speak for themselves."

Gingrich made the comment in a 2007 speech to National Federation of Republican Women, where he said the country should replace bilingual education with immersion to English so people could "learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto."

After his "ghetto" comment stirred criticism, Gingrich made a video in which he said his words "were not the best."

Romney's ad follows the release of a scathing new Gingrich-backed radio commercial that calls Romney "the most anti-immigration candidate."

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a popular Latino lawmaker in the state, strongly criticized the ad on Wednesday, telling the Miami Herald that neither Romney nor Gingrich were "anti-immigrant."

Shortly after Rubio's remarks caught fire in the media, the Gingrich campaign confirmed the radio ad was taken down, while a Spanish-language ad against President Barack Obama remained on air.

The ads come amid heavy courting of the Latino vote in Florida by the Republican presidential candidates. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latino voters make up roughly 11% of the Republican voting base in the Sunshine State.

- CNN's Jim Acosta and Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Also see:

Live blog: 2012 State of the Union

New Freddie Mac contract prohibits 'lobbying activities'

Romney resets image with postcards from the edge

Gingrich gets major help


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Florida • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    At least them flip floppef's roots are in Mexico.
    The newterman not so much and he has said plenty of things about blacks and Hispanics that it's not going to work for him.

    January 25, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    We have been bombarded with Mittens' attack ads for a month. So far, the more Mittens attacks, the lower his numbers go.

    January 25, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Romney and Rubio make up the "Dream Tea." Both are anchor babies who have done well.

    January 25, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Thomas

    What about the Haitian Voters ?

    January 25, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Mikey

    "Gingrich made the comment in a 2007 speech to National Federation of Republican Women, where he said the country should replace bilingual education with immersion to English so people could "learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto.""
    *********************************************************
    From the same guy who said that kids from poor neighborhoods should be forced to mop floors and clean toilets at their schools, so they could learn something about good work habits. I guess the two or three part time jobs, at very low pay with no benefits, that both of their parents have can't do the trick. Newt has to tell them. Thanks, Newt.

    Of course, in South Carolina, the GOP candidates spoke at rallies to "hard working" people are unemployed because of President Obama, while the poor "inner city" folks are lazy and have "no habit of work", which explains why they are unemployed. Hmmmm, I wonder what is different about those two groups.

    January 25, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Coronas and Dos Equis are good at putting out fuego.

    January 25, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Phil Esteen

    I could not disagree with pseudo-Latino Marco Rubio more strenuously.

    While Mitt may not be as pointedly anti-immigrant as Newton GettingRich, both men are stereotypical Republican white guys. They are both rich, privileged and living off the government's dime – although that charge sticks to Romney less than GettingRich. And they are both playing off white paranoia, which has reached such disgusting heights that it has robbed conservative whites of all rationality.

    Ironically, Mitt who outshines GettingRich by a country mile in matters of morality, can't get any authentication from so-called conservative Christians simply because they are too bigoted to accept a Mormon as one of their own. So much for Christians inclusiveness. So much for American values.

    January 25, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    Its funny that the frontrunners of the party that has gone on record as despising Latinos, thinks that they can habla a little espanol and we would forget.

    January 25, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt Romney enjoys lower tax than most Latinos

    January 25, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Of course, in South Carolina, the GOP candidates spoke at rallies to "hard working" people are unemployed because of President Obama, while the poor "inner city" folks are lazy and have "no habit of work", which explains why they are unemployed. Hmmmm, I wonder what is different about those two groups.
    =============================================================================================
    Inner city folk are almost always Democrat. Republicans are everybody else. So hard working = Republican, all others = Democrat. I hope this helps you....

    January 25, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. My name is Jose Jimenez

    newt = a low life form usually frequenting dark and moist places spending its time under rocks and out of the sun.

    January 25, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Truth somebody wrote:

    Inner city folk are almost always Democrat.
    -------------
    Obviously, you have never been to a real city. NYC has a Republican mayor, just like the guy that preceded him.

    January 25, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Patriot

    AMERICAN PEAOPLE....introducing the Republican candidates. On this corner...the TIGER, on the other corner, the VULTURE. Let the fight begin. Meanwhile the president and his party continues to do the the job for the American people and the party of NO NON NO NON NO NO NO, sat on the sidelines watching the TIGER and the VULTURE kill each other. Have fun.

    January 25, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Bigwilliestyles

    @ truth: see if you can figure out a clever way for republicans to get the Black, Latino and Women vote come November, when all past racist comments and s,e,xist behaviors come to a boil. Racist=a vanishing breed; how does it feel to watch yourself become extinct?

    January 25, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. Royal

    I'm be light on the GOP, duh stupid is as stupid does.

    January 25, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. LayneP

    As an immigrant myself I can certainly sympathize with how complicated and expensive it can be to immigrate to this country but the answer isn't in just legalizing everyone who is hear already. If you are upset with how the immigration system works lets work to change it not just ignore it.

    Romney has consistently said that he is for legal immigration. And, I don't know this for sure, but I bet if we asked he he would be for streamlining our system so this country can be the hope of the earth it once was.

    January 25, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Katt

    Latino's , con semejante votantes necesidad tienes que venir la votar por los Demcratas !

    January 25, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Zoe barber

    Re: truth
    he is definitely a tea bagger. His views are skewed and devoid of facts.

    January 25, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |