Specifically, the loquacious Gingrich stated that he would support a program that provided legal status to those who met certain criteria:
“If you’ve been here 25 years and you’ve got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.”
It wasn’t until Michele Bachmann called him on the carpet that Newt realized he had really stepped in it:
“He wants to legalize 11 million illegal aliens in the United States.”
Of course, Newt took exception to someone calling his amnesty plan an “Amnesty” plan, but that’s what it is. And, Newt, that is actually a good thing.
To me, the best question asked during Newt’s right wing gaffe was when he asked his rivals who would go back to their districts and tell the person he just described that they were being sent away; tearing them from their family.
No one had an answer. Because, as much as conservatives hate to admit it, Newt was right on this one. His premise is that there are folks here "illegally" that are a benefit to our nation, not a detriment. There are folks who’ve been in this country “illegally” since early childhood. They obey the laws. Most went to elementary, middle, and high school. Many attended our universities, joined churches, and got involved with the community. Now they are older. Some are working and paying taxes, others have kids and grandkids. For many who fall into this category, all they know is U.S.A. This is “home.” So which one of the Republican candidates would step in and separate this person from their families?
Clearly Newt got caught up. I don’t believe, as the current front runner, that he meant to introduce this “hornet’s nest.” I’m sure most politicians running for office practice suppressing their true feelings in attempts to garner more votes – well, most with the exception of Ron Paul. Paul says whatever he damn well pleases (wanna fight about it!!!). Newt just accidentally let his slip out. Now he has to defend it, or come up with yet another lie to spin it. Either way, what Newt said at that time was 100% correct in my book. While we work to make sure that those entering our country from this point forward do it legally, and simultaneously work to remove those who are here illegally and breaking the law, we must not lump them into the same category as those who are American in every other sense of the word.
What do you think of Newt's comments and position?
Was he wrong for saying it?
Will this hurt his chances?
Will he spin this later?