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Newt Gingrich talks Puerto Rico, 'self-deportation' to Hispanic Republicans

Newt Gingrich may not have been at the Hispanic Leadership Network's Doral conference to listen to Sen. Marco Rubio, but it was clear to the audience here that Gingrich had a tough act to follow, after Rubio gave a sweeping immigration speech.

Gingrich, fresh off a breakfast with the Latin Builders Association and an impromptu press event to officially announce the backing from Hispanics including U.S. Rep. David Rivera, spoke for about 25 minutes, his wife, Callista, by his side.

He repeated many of the U.S. foreign policy themes he laid out Tuesday in a speech at Florida International University but also touched on Puerto Rico, which came up at Thursday night's debate in Jacksonville. At one point, a Puerto Rican woman from the audience interrupted Gingrich to try to get him to say whether he supports statehood for the island.

"I believe the people of Puerto Rico should make that decision," Gingrich said, receiving the most enthusiastic applause of his remarks when he told the woman, "If you don't like it, I disagree."

When he turned to immigration, Gingrich noted the failures of previous Republican and Democratic administrations. "I don't believe you can pass a comprehensive bill," he said, adding that it would face "too many enemies."

That's when he mentioned primary rival Mitt Romney -- 18 minutes into Gingrich's speech.

"This is where I have a big disagreement with Gov. Romney," Gingrich said regarding what to do with the about 11 million people who are in the United States illegally.

Gingrich, who had mocked Romney's mention of "self-deportation" at a Tampa debate Monday, said "a very significant number" of "young, unattached" undocumented immigrants would go back to their countries and apply for a guest-worker program under Gingrich's porposal. "Self-deportation in fact works for those groups," he admitted.

But not for everyone: "The idea that a grandmother is not going to be supported, the idea that she's going to self-deport...this is not a solution."

Gingrich ended with what he called "a very brief commercial."

"I am running for president," he said, sounding somewhat subdued. "We have a primary here on Tuesday. I'd love to have your support, your endorsement. I'd love you to go on YouTube, Facebook...even talk to people face-to-face.

"I will try to lead all Americans into a dramatically better future."

Comments

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Andres

Newt, move to Chicago.
They have the best COMEDY CLUBS!!!

Paul

Go go Newt go...it took me 8 yrs to get my citzenship which was last friday and I am so happy to vote in this most important election. What Newt said on Immigration I agree 100% and English should be the language of the USA. the Immigration system works millions of ppl everyday is becoming Naturalize citzen we need to come together as a party and vote Obama out. self deportation what romney wants is dumb who in htere right mind is going to go back to there home countrywhen they have a life here and noting there.

citizencain

Paul, how long have you been following politic? Welcome to the pack of ignorant voters who make up their minds based on 1 freaking speech.

Merk

Citixencain......I love it, this fool just got his papers and now he is an authority in political B/S....what a joke, this is why this country is in it's present state.....

arale norimaki

To newt English should be the language of the USA. Then why do you have spanish political ad?

I am Newt Gingrich: I’m not a
hypocrite

Tube Salvation

Unless Marco Rubio don't decide to run as Vice it looks like 4 more years for The Chose One " Obama" .

jakesd68

Newt doesnt get it. A grandmother who has been here for 40 years isnt going to get deported or self-deport. Grandmothers arent the problem.

The younger illegals who come here and work illegally are the problem and an E-Verify system with serious fines/penalties against companies that hire illegals will dry up the supply of jobs for illegals.

Newt stop pandering to each and every audience.

R B Quinn

Nothing more than pandering ...!

James Andrews

The Republican establishment fears Newt because they know it would not be business as usual in DC.. Newt would actually do away with the Department of Education and return the authority to the states. Newt would actually break up banks that are too big to fail. Newt knows how to get legislation changed and how to run the power players out of town.

Ron Paul is not going to be the next President. Newt is our only choice.

Harry

I agree with "Paul". I'm also a legal resident alien, who moved to the USA to find a better future. Newt Gingrich is best qualified for the position of POTUS. I do not care about his health, personal life, skin color, or any other aspect of his life, which on any other job interview would be taboo by law, anyway. I moved here from a country that is promoting class warfare, is incapacited by its own infatuation with labor unions, (to the point where nothing gets done), unemployment figures are absolutely staggering, the citizens are being blatantly disarmed, the crime rate is the second highest in the world, the president is illiterate and has multiple wives, there are 11 (eleven) "official languages", and China has pretty much taken over the economy, corruption and out of control government spending is rive, non-existent border control is turning the country into a pirate's den, dignity is perceived as weakness, and no-one has any respect for the law. If I wanted the future the other candidates are offering, I may as well have stayed home, or moved to Europe. The problem is America has become such a formidable force (thats a good thing), that a lot of Americans seem to have no clue, as to how fortunate they are to have been born in a country where a high basic standard of life, freedom of speech and religion etc. are still inalienable rights (a bad thing, that they do not appreciate it). Newt gets it, I speak a non-native (to me) language every day of my life here in the USA, and am proud of it. It makes sense. The USA is an exeptional country, it is a beacon of freedom and prosperity. Anyone who thinks "American Exeptionalism" is just a catch phrase, is just a weak, pathetic product of their own misplaced self pity, and the mindless "sheeple" syndrome that "modern progressivism" has been raping public consciousnous with, for a very long time. Close your mouth, open your eyes, remove your hands from your ears, and cherish the society that has prevented your liveless corpse from being dragged through run down streets, by a large group of mindless maggots. Too bad I cannot vote yet - Go Newt.

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