Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich gained the backing of some key Latino leaders and the Latino GOP group Café con Leche on Friday.
Speaking at a Hispanic Leadership Network event in Miami, former Treasurer of the United States for George W. Bush Rosario Marin and a group of other Latino leaders endorsed the former House Speaker’s bid for the GOP nomination.
“The reality is he is the only one that has for the long time reached out to the Hispanic community, that has a very clear record of support from the Hispanic community, that has the clearest of understandings of what the needs are as a whole,” Marin said. “Mr. Speaker you have earned our support and that’s why we are proud to stand here with you and all the way to the White House.”
Along with the Hispanic leaders in Florida, Gingrich gained the backing of the pro-immigration Latino group Café con Leche.
"Newt has proven to be very interested and engaging to the Latino community," Bob Quasius, president of Café con Leche. "He recognizes and is interested in the Latino community and we don’t see that in Mitt Romney."
Quasius added that Romney’s strict stance on immigration and his support for the controversial architect of Arizona’s immigration Kris Kobach has put him in the hole with Latinos.
"One question for is what did he promise Kris Kobach?" Quasius said.
“We think Romney will do better among Latinos in Florida,” Quasius said because of the traditionally conservative Cuban-American population. “But when he goes west, especially in the southwest, he won’t do well at all.”
Gingrich continued on Friday to reiterate his disagreement with Romney on the immigration issue and criticized the former Massachusetts governor’s idea that immigrants should self-deport.
“It’s not enough when you get to people with strong family ties to just say self deport,” Gingrich said at the HLN conference. “Let’s find a practical, common sense, local system which enables citizens to decide yes you ought to have residency."
His campaign did not immediately return calls to Fox News Latino regarding his recent endorsements.