Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Newt Gingrich Courts Conservative Backlash on Immigration

At New York Times, "Gingrich Risks Conservative Outrage on Immigration":

Did Newt Gingrich have a “heartless” moment on Tuesday night?

In a September debate, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, drew a furious response from conservatives in his party when he said critics of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants “did not have a heart.” The response halted Mr. Perry’s momentum amid charges from rivals that he was too soft on the issue of immigration for the party faithful.

Now, Mr. Gingrich — the newest leader in the national polls — has embraced a similar apostasy: the idea that the country should find a way to make many millions of illegal immigrants legal.

“There’s a way to ultimately end up with a country where there’s no more illegality, but you haven’t automatically given amnesty to anyone,” Mr. Gingrich said, citing a program from the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation.

That was enough for Mr. Gingrich’s rivals to pounce. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, refused to allow Mr. Gingrich to claim that his suggestion was different than amnesty.

“If people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that’s going to only encourage more people to come here illegally,” Mr. Romney said.

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota agreed with Mr. Romney. “I don’t agree that you would make 11 million workers legal, because that in effect is amnesty,” she said.
Also, at The Hill, "Rep. King denounces Gingrich immigration plan as 'amnesty'." (Via Memeorandum.) And check AoSHQ, "Gingrich's Daft Immigration 'Solution'."

PREVIOUSLY: "Newt Goes All 'Dede Scozzafava' on Immigration!"

BONUS: Jeff Goldstein's post from last night, "Debate thoughts, nano edition."