In the wake of Sen. Marco Rubio's denunciation of Newt Gingrich's ad calling Mitt Romney 'anti-immigrant,' the Romney campaign's Hispanic leadership team -- headlined by former Sen. Mel Martinez -- is demanding that Gingrich pull down the radio spot.
But Gingrich already plans to do it.
"We respect Senator Rubio tremendously and will remove the ad from the rotation. We will replace it with a positive message that will continue to focus on drawing contrast between our clear vision on the issues important to the hispanic community and our oponnents lack thereof," Gingrich's Florida campaign chairman, Jose Mallea, said.
Here's the letter from Romney's team:
Dear Speaker Gingrich,
Recently, you began airing a Spanish-language radio advertisement in Miami where you attack Governor Romney for being “anti-immigrant.”
This advertisement is untrue, offensive and unbecoming a candidate for the Republican nomination for President.
We are writing to you today to pull down this offensive radio ad.
Immigration is an important issue not just for Hispanic Republicans, but for our country.
President Obama and his liberal allies have worked hard to caricature all Republicans as being “anti-immigrant.” Your radio ad borrows from those talking points, hurts the progress that Republicans have made with Hispanics, and undermines our party’s efforts to win Hispanics over on economic and limited government arguments.
For a Republican candidate for President to reinforce President Obama’s attacks on Republicans is counterproductive, and damaging to the national dialogue on immigration issues. It will also help President Obama get reelected.
Governor Romney has worked aggressively to campaign among all Americans, including Hispanics. His message of economic opportunity and limited government are the same principles that have been espoused by conservatives and rallied Hispanics to our party since Ronald Reagan. Governor Romney understands that America should remain a land of opportunity for anyone willing to come here, work hard, and play by the rules.
While we may have differences of opinion with regard to some of Governor Romney’s policies on immigration, we nonetheless stand firmly behind him because we know he is the most qualified conservative candidate to defeat President Obama and to lift up all Americans, including Hispanics.
Like your attacks on the free market, attacking Mitt Romney as “anti-immigrant” only serves President Obama and his liberal allies.
Mr. Speaker, our party deserves better.
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez
Senator Mel Martinez
Raquel A. Rodriguez
R. Alexander Acosta
Remedios Diaz Oliver
Bertica Cabrera Morris