When Newt Gingrich stopped by WAQI-AM (710), better known as Radio Mambí, last Friday, he promised to soon be on the South Florida airwaves in English and Spanish.
He has followed through, at least in part, airing a Spanish-language ad on some of the most influential radio stations in Miami.
In the piece, a man's voice (not Gingrich) calls Mitt Romney a "liberal" who is "anti-immigrant" and may have "fame" but not be up to the job of president. Perhaps most damning, the ad says, "Mitt Romney goes around using Castro phrases," referring to the 2008 presidential campaign when Romney, campaigning in Miami, mistakenly associated a Fidel Castro slogan with a free Cuba.
Romney talked about Patria o muerte, venceremos -- Fatherland or death, we shall overcome -- a trademark phrase Castro used to close his speeches. Romney's use of the phrase did not sit well with Cuban Americans, who, according to a Miami Herald report at the time, "winced."
The ad also refers to Miami Republicans Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who have backed Romney but whom Gingrich served with in Congress.
Of course, it might be too little, too late for Gingrich, considering Romney has been on the TV and radio airwaves in Spanish and English for weeks.
Here's the text of the latter portion of the ad. The translation is ours.
Newt Gingrich is a candidate who has committed himself to the Hispanic people, a Republican in the style of Ronald Reagan with experience. Unlike Mitt Romney, who goes around using Castro phrases, Newt Gingrich fought against the regime alongside Ileana and Lincoln to approve the Helms-Burton law. He supported the creation of Radio and TV Martí and is in favor of prosecuting the Castro brothers for bringing down the Brothers to the Rescue planes. Newt Gingrich has given his word to the Hispanic community in writing and won't let us down.
UPDATE: Here's a response from Romney campaign spokesman Alberto Martinez:
"This ad is false and full of ridiculous claims. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart all stand with Mitt Romney because he has laid out a clear vision for spreading democracy in our hemisphere. By attacking anyone who supports common-sense border security and immigration reforms as 'anti-immigrant,' Newt Gingrich is once again reading from Barack Obama's liberal talking points."