Gingrich warns GOP: Don’t appear to ‘ignore people’ in immigration debate
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) delivered a warning to his Republican party mates in a letter to his supporters, urging them to come around when it came to immigration reform as part of its rebuilding process.
“A party that appears to ignore people won’t get the chance to make the case for its principles — any of them,” he wrote in the letter, Think Progress reported on Saturday.
In the letter, sent on Friday night, Gingrich slammed the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, for his immigration policy, saying that statements like Romney’s much-maligned call for “self-deportation” contributed to the GOP losing support among communities of color.
“I do not write this to single out Mitt Romney,” Gingrich said in the letter. “He worked hard for a long time and his campaign was up against skilled opponents. But the sad fact is that the Republican Party for too long has failed to communicate to Latino Americans a positive vision for the future. Our slide among Asian Americans has been in the works for a generation.”
In contrast, he credited Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) — one of the “Group of 8” lawmakers behind a bipartisan proposal promising a pathway to citizenship provided certain security guidelines are met, — for “cutting through some of the baloney” as immigration became a more prominent topic for both major parties.
“The 12 million [undocumented immigrants in the U.S.] are here, living and working,” Gingrich wrote. “Many of them are bound together by the web of human relations — family, friends, neighbors — and the American people will not support mass deportation. That is the reality — the starting point of the debate about what we, as a country, should do.”