Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has successfully staked his claim as the most extreme GOP presidential candidate when it comes to immigration. His immigration plan is to make conditions in the country so horrible for undocumented immigrants that they have no option other than to self-deport. He embraced the support of Kris Kobach, the anti-immigrant Kansas secretary of state with ties to hate groups.
Last night during the CNN GOP debate in Florida, even Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who has attempted to strike a compassionate tone on immigration during the primaries, agreed that, of the GOP presidential contenders, Romney is anti-immigrant:
BLITZER: I just want to make sure I understand. Is he [Romney] still the most anti-immigrant candidate?
GINGRICH: Among the four of us, yes.
BLITZER: Go ahead, governor.
ROMNEY: That’s simply inexcusable. That’s inexcusable.
Of course Romney disagrees with the characterization since he also has tried to frame himself as a pro-legal immigration candidate and touts out his father’s birth in Mexico (even though his father never had Mexican citizenship). Earlier in the week, his campaign pressured the Gingrich camp to take down a Spanish campaign ad that called Romney “anti-immigrant.” Gingrich’s campaign removed the ad after Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said the language used was “inaccurate, inflammatory and doesn’t belong in the campaign.”
But Gingrich had it right during the debate when he told moderator Wolf Blitzer that yes, Romney was anti-immigrant, no matter how many times Romney may say it’s inexcusable.