Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with the career or present presidential campaign of former speaker Newt Gingrich know him to be a man whose rhetoric knows no boundaries, either of accuracy or common decency. He is equally likely to attack his opponents from the left or the right and thinks little of smearing his opponents if he thinks he can profit from it.
Case in point: his attack the other day on Mitt Romney as being "the most anti-immigrant." (h/t Jennifer Rubin) The attack came in a Gingrich radio ad, in Spanish, during the critically important Florida primary in which Gingrich is attempting to cement his new status as the party's front-runner and Romney is trying to regain his.
There is a feeling of deja vu to Gingrich's attacks. Earlier, in criticizing Romney's work at Bain capital and running an ad that characterized Romney as a "corporate raider", Gingrich showed that he had no scruples taking up a common anti-capitalist meme of the left. Those attacks failed, and Gingrich's "anti-immigrant" charge against Romney will fail as well. The ad has already been denounced by Sen. Marco Rubio who said, "This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. It's inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn't belong in this campaign."
Tarring Republicans as "anti-immigrant" because they oppose illegal immigration is a long-standing and frequently used smear by the amnesty left and "enlightened" comprehensive reform advocates. So is the use of the same tactics against those who oppose calls for legalization of large swaths of the younger immigrant population brought to this country illegally by their parents, regardless of the age at which they came, how long they have been here, and whether granting them legal status doesn't provide valuable rewards to their immigration law breaking parents and incentives to others.
Gingrich's attacks on Romney's immigration stands give more evidence, if any were needed, that the former House Speaker is an unprincipled man in that very basic core aspect of his character and in that respect the absolute antithesis of a true conservative.
Yet, aside from being yet another reflection on Gingrich's many character issues, his attempt to smear Romney with left-wing rhetoric contains a rather supreme irony. It is Romney who has emerged as the most vocal and consistent voice of an immigration stance that will make good sense to both moderates and conservatives and which will, if Romney is the GOP candidate, give the Republican party a much sought-after approach to winning the "Hispanic vote" – a critical piece of assembling a winning coalition.
Next: Romney's Potentially Breakthrough Immigration Paradigm