Gingrich mocks Romney’s “self-deportation” policy
Gingrich’s popularity has surged recently, yet polls still show that he is a long way off from having the kind of support President Obama has. (Flickr)
MIAMI - Newt Gingrich today mocked rival Mitt Romney’s notion that a “self-deportation” policy with undocumented immigrants could work in this country, blowing off the idea with a dismissive laugh at a forum hosted by Univision in Miami.
“How close are you to breaking up laughing out loud?” Gingrich said to Univision correspondent Jorge Ramos, who moderated this morning’s event. “I think you have to live in a world of Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island accounts and automatic — you know, $20 million a year of no work — to have a fantasy this far from reality.”
“For Romney to believe that somebody’s grandmother is going to be so cut off that she is going to self deport. I mean, this is an Obama-level fantasy,” Gingrich added. “He certainly shows no concern for the humanity of people who are already here.”
Asked by Ramos about the DREAM Act, the Democrats’ proposal to provide a path to citizenship for some undocumented children of immigrants who attend college or serve in the military, Gingrich reiterated his support for the military component, but not the scholastic one.
According to a new poll released this morning by ABC News and Univision, Gingrich, fresh off his resounding victory in last week’s South Carolina primary, trails Romney by a wide margin among Latino Republicans in Florida: 49 percent to 23 percent.
The advantage that Romney enjoys stems in large part from the support that the former Massachusetts governor receives from the sizable Cuban-American population here after he was bolstered by some key endorsements from Cuban-American lawmakers in Congress such as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Making matters worse for Gingrich, the former House Speaker is way behind Obama among Latinos nationwide in a hypothetical general election match-up with President Obama: 70 percent of the Latino vote would go to the president, compared to only 22 percent for Gingrich.
“You would lose the general election with these numbers,” Ramos told him.
“I think by the time we get to the fall campaign — we talked about values where the Latino community is far closer to me than they are to Obama, we talked about the failure to create jobs where the Latino community has a much greater concern than President Obama does, we talked about an effective Latin America policy where he’s clearly failed, we talked about Iranians and Ahmadinejad and the alliance with Chavez where the president has clearly failed, we talked about his failure in Cuba — I have a hunch that by this fall we may do better than any Republican except maybe Reagan,” replied Gingrich.
“My goal would be to break the majority,” he said.
Romney will participate in the Univision forum later this afternoon. At one point Ramos asked Gingrich if he would consider Romney as a running mate if he were to win the GOP nomination.
“I think the idea to Mitt of being the vice president on my ticket would be the sort of thing that would drive him back to being a recluse and hiding from public life for a while,” Gingrich quipped in response, to laughter from the audience here.