Gingrich’s 2007 Comment About Spanish as the “Language of Living in a Ghetto” Resurfaces

Nov 15, 2011
6:38 PM

Yes, in 2007 Newt Gingrich said that the Spanish language is "ghetto," and it is clear that if he suddenly hadn't become the next great GOP frontrunner not known as Mitt Romney, this story would have never resurfaced. But it has, and Ginrich's apology in Spanish is a bit ironic (and funny).

For a little background, the Gingrich comments where he called Spanish the "language of living in a ghetto" occurred in 2007, when the former Speaker of the House was considering a run for the 2008 GOP nomination.

Here is the original 2007 report from MSNBC. Click here to see video. The first part of the video covers what Gingrich said. As reported by The Associated Press at the time:


“The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up” to vote, said Gingrich, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.

“The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto,” Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.

“Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that’s true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English,” he said.

Now it appearas that this 2007 story is back in the limelight, as Politico reported that Republican opposition to Gingrich has resurfaced the story through an unnamed campaign adviser:

This adviser, who shared the video, also noted with some awe that the former speaker himself had last month blamed "Republican incompetence" for losing Latino votes.

"This video could be devastating to GOP efforts to court Hispanics if he were the nominee," said the adviser.

Asked what Gingrich's "ghetto" comments say about his discipline, a Gingrich spokesman suggested the candidate's performance so far in this campaign answered the question.

"The final merits of whether a candidate is capable of leading the country will be decided beginning in Iowa and going through Tampa," said Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond. "Based on what we’ve seen on the campaign trail so far in debates and other forums, there is no question that Newt Gingrich is capable of being commander-in-chief."