Has Newt Gingrich made his first big mistake following his swift rise to the top?
Social conservatives are freaking out, and Gingrich’s decision to insert the word “humane” into an answer about illegal immigration at the last presidential debate seems to be putting some Iowa voters on edge weeks before the caucus vote. But, importantly, while Gingrich’s opponents attack him, they’re declining to say what they’d do differently when it comes to families who’ve been living, working (and paying taxes) in America for decades without legal immigration status. [...]
Gingrich expressly said at the debate Tuesday that long-term illegal immigrants shouldn’t be given citizenship, but rather some kind of process to create legal status and avoid splitting up families. But that kind of amnesty verboten in conservative circles, gives Romney an opening to attack Newt from the right, and is enough for Michele Bachmann to call Gingrich a liberal.
Personally I would say Newt's first mistake was running for president to begin with, but social conservatives really are very troubled by any discussion of immigration that does not primarily focus on kicking everyone with brown skin out of the country or constructing electric fences.
Gingrich even went as far as to use the word "humane," which as far as I know was an acceptable word to use for describing the way you should treat other human beings until the Church of Republicans decided only the 1 percent deserve humane treatment.
The walk-back of Newt's comments will likely begin on Sunday or after the results of the next round of opinion polls emerges.