Team Gingrich takes down Spanish-language ad
January 25th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Team Gingrich takes down Spanish-language ad

Coral Springs, Florida (CNN) - The Newt Gingrich campaign has taken off the air a Spanish-language radio spot not long after an influential Florida senator lambasted the presidential candidate for releasing an "inaccurate" and "inflammatory" ad about Mitt Romney's immigration record.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio sharply criticized Gingrich Wednesday for running the ad, which calls Romney "the most anti-immigration candidate."

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"This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. It's inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn't belong in this campaign," Rubio told the Miami Herald.

Gingrich Press Secretary R.C. Hammond confirmed Wednesday afternoon the controversial ad is no longer running. He said the ad was taken down as part of a scheduled “rotation time for the ads,” not as a result of complaints from Rubio.

But earlier in the day, Gingrich's Florida state director, Jose Mallea, told the Miami Herald the ad was being removed out of "tremendous respect" for Rubio. Gingrich routinely mentions on campaign stops that Mallea formerly worked as Rubio's campaign manager.

The former House speaker did not back down from the now-pulled ad's premise that the former Massachusetts governor is "anti-immigration" when pressed by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos.

Gingrich said Romney "certainly shows no concern for the humanity of people who are already here. I mean, I just think the idea we're going to deport grandmothers and grandfather's is a sufficient level of inhumanity. First of all, it's never going to happen."

When Ramos asked the former speaker about Romney's "idea of self-deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country," Gingrich called it "an Obama-level fantasy."

In a later appearance at the same forum, Romney said it was "very sad for a candidate to resort to that kind of epithet. It's just inappropriate."

The Gingrich camp is airing another Spanish-language radio ad that focuses not on his Republican opponent but Obama.

Hammond also said there was a second ad in rotation that challenges Romney to explain his position on Cuba.

A Rubio spokesman said the senator was not available to comment on Gingrich's ad targeting Romney but confirmed the comments to the Herald.

"The truth is that neither of these two men is anti-immigrant," Rubio told the Herald.

"Both are pro-legal immigration and both have positive messages that play well in the Hispanic community," he added.

The spot also resurrects a gaffe Romney made in 2007 when he mistakenly used Fidel Castro's well-known "fatherland or death" catch-phrase in a call for free Cuba.

"Unlike Romney, who uses statements from Castro, Newt Gingrich has fought against the regime," the ad says.

Rubio's comments on the spot come a day after he criticized Gingrich for comparing Romney to ex-Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

A few of Crist's former top staffers now work for Romney. Crist bolted the GOP in 2010 to run as an independent in a losing campaign against Rubio.

Briefly stepping out of his neutral role in the GOP primary, Rubio said there is no comparison between Romney and Crist.

"Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist," Rubio said through a spokesman

A Rubio spokesman said the senator is not reconsidering his decision to make no endorsement before the Florida primary.

"We're still neutral," Rubio spokesman Alex Conant said to CNN.

Below is a script of the radio ad:

"Fatherland or Death, we will prevail... (sound byte by Castro)

Surprising enough this statement was also made by Mitt Romney (made on 3/9/07 at Miami Dade Lincoln Day)

Mitt Romney is a government liberal, from the state of and similar to Kennedy

He is the most anti-immigrant candidate.

Mitt Romney may have the fame, but he does not have the substance to be our President.

In Contrast, Newt Gingrich is a candidate that has committed himself to the Hispanic community. A Republican similar to Ronald Reagan, with experience.

Unlike Romney, who uses statements from Castro, Newt Gingrich has fought against the regime with Lincoln and Ileana to approve 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.

Newt Gingrich has given his word to the Cuban American community in writing and will not let us down. This January 31st vote for Newt Gingrich by punching number 12 in your ballot."

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 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    He's going with Mitt, hoping to be Veep. Then we could have a Mexican-American Pres., and Cuban-American Vice.

    WOW - talk about being obvious. (Or maybe he just wants inside trader information).

    January 25, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Hongli

    I'm afraid that Rubio is standing on sinking sand.He has an albatross of shame and disgust hanging around his neck and he's probably asking the famous question ---"Why Me ?"

    January 25, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. Kenneth Close

    Neutral-Criticize, Do we own the same dictionary??????

    January 25, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Steve Moore Smithton, Mo.

    The 2012 race is almost a year away still, and yet the race for 2016 has already begun. No wonder nothing gets done in Washington, it's all about job security and re-election. If term limits are not imposed this country will never regain it's stature and importance in the world. Additionally, we will continue on this downward path until it's too late and the damage by the current politicians is irreversible.

    January 25, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Newt is trying to pander to the latino vote in Florida while potentially doing damage to the Party in the general election. Why doesn't he say instead that HE is the most PRO-immigration candidate in the race???

    January 25, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. arale norimaki

    A Cuban on the ballot means nothing to the general population of the Hispanic community. Most Latin Americans don't like Cubans

    Is their a double standard regarding illegal aliens when it comes to Cubans entering the US?

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    Marco Rubio Really Admires Dead RÅcist Jesse
    Helms?spent thousands with GOP credit cardSo, Marco Rubio is going
    around calling America "weakened." He blames it on Social Security,
    Medicaid and Medicare

    .Marco Rubio=no job

    January 25, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    That is true Mr. Rubio
    Mitt Romney is the most anti-immigration candidate. He said, he will veto the dream act
    Don’t defend Mitt Romney on this it will hurt your popularity

    January 25, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth asked:

    Newt is trying to pander to the latino vote in Florida while potentially doing damage to the Party in the general election. Why doesn't he say instead that HE is the most PRO-immigration candidate in the race???
    Uh. Because it is true. He's not alone in having extreme difficulty in speaking truthfully.

    January 25, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    That I would have to concede. Romney has been totally dishonest about what he would do about illegal immigration. He would do very little about it, at all. However, that IS its own problem, now isn't it????

    When he attacked Perry, on that issue, he was totally dishonest about what he himself, would actually do, about illegal immigration, and that is the real truth.

    What Newt should be attacking Romney that he will in fact do NOTHING to resolve the problem with illegal immigration in this country.

    January 25, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    the anchor baby speaking out of both sides of his mouth....again

    January 25, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. Dar

    Rubio Is not a truth teller. He claimed his parents or grandparents had to escaped Fidel Castro's Cuba which was a lie so who ever this man picks doesn't matter. I sometime can't believe these republicans.

    January 25, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Grant

    If Newt is capable of doing what he has done to his past 2 wives, what will he do to those poor immigrants if he were elected. Hey how much did Newt pay to charity?????

    January 25, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. paul

    What is the problem. It's okay when they lie on the president. They will learn that someone else for a higher power is always watching them. Funny though they don't see it.

    January 25, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rick McDaniel - What Newt should be attacking Romney that he will in fact do NOTHING to resolve the problem with illegal immigration in this country.
    I do believe Newt is trying to GAIN votes, not lose votes, in Florida. Therefore I'm sure he would decline your advice.

    January 25, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Cindy

    Newt Gingrich's whole campaign rhetoric has been a lie. He even takes credit for the balanced budget that occured after 196 republicans kicked his (you-know-what) out of congress.

    January 25, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Beverly - NYC

    Please get Mr. Rubio a dictionary, he clearly does not understand the concept of neutrality.

    January 25, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. anagram_kid

    GI Joe,
    I agree that Mr. Rubio is probably hoping for the VP spot and I think the GOP would get behind this choice in an effort to obtain the Latino vote. Sadly for them it will work out as well as the Palin pick to pull in the female vote worked in 2008.
    Obama 2012 – Because we need to keep moving forward

    January 25, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Phil in KC

    I'm going to criticize Gingrich and defend Romney, but I'm staying neutral. Those Republicans sure have a funny idea of neutral.

    January 25, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |