Newt Gingrich came out with a Spanish-language ad on Thursday calling fellow GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney "anti-immigrant" and "goes around using Castro phrases," the Miami Herald reported.
The ad is airing on radio stations in Miami. The race for the GOP nomination moves to Florida after South Carolina's primary on Saturday. The ad goes after Romney for his record on a number of issues, putting special attention to his accidental use in 2008 of a phrase often used by Fidel Castro, the dictator of the nation from which many Floridians fled. The phrase is "patria o muerte, venceremos," which translates to "fatherland or death, we shall overcome."
"Unlike Mitt Romney, who goes around using Castro phrases, Newt Gingrich fought against the regime," a voice says in the ad, as translated by the Miami Herald.
Although the ad does not go into immigration issues in depth, Gingrich has taken a softer stance -- if only slightly -- than Romney on the issue. He said he would allow some undocumented immigrants, such as those who have been here for 25 years or more, to stay, but only if approved by a citizen review board. Romney opposes all legalization and said he would veto the Dream Act, a bill supported by most Latinos that would provide legal status to some undocumented young people.
Romney has also been running Spanish-language ads in Florida, including a video featuring his son speaking in Spanish about his father. Romney also won endorsements from prominent Cuban-American politicians from the state, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart and former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, all of whom have said they disagree with some of his views on immigration.
Gingrich is attempting to move in on Romney's efforts to woo Latino voters before the Jan. 31 primary in Florida.
The Miami Herald translated part of the Gingrich radio ad:
Newt Gingrich is a candidate who has committed himself to the Hispanic people, a Republican in the style of Ronald Reagan with experience. Unlike Mitt Romney, who goes around using Castro phrases, Newt Gingrich fought against the regime alongside Ileana and Lincoln to approve the Helms-Burton law. He supported the creation of Radio and TV Martí and is in favor of prosecuting the Castro brothers for bringing down the Brothers to the Rescue planes. Newt Gingrich has given his word to the Hispanic community in writing and won't let us down.
UPDATE, 7 p.m. -- Romney spokesman Albert Martinez said the ad makes false claims, comparing it to something the Obama campaign would release.
“This ad is false and full of ridiculous claims," Martinez said in a statement. "Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart all stand with Mitt Romney because he has laid out a clear vision for spreading democracy in our hemisphere. By attacking anyone who supports common-sense border security and immigration reforms as 'anti-immigrant,' Newt Gingrich is once again reading from Barack Obama’s liberal talking points."