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Bachmann keeps the heat on Gingrich

Over the weekend, Michele Bachmann again accused Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich of supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants and released a letter the former House speaker signed in 2004 to try and prove it.

In the letter, Gingrich (and a group of conservative political activists like anti-tax leader Grover Norquist and a former Bachmann campaign pollster, Ed Goeas) announced his support for then-President George W. Bush’s immigration reform measures that included a guest worker program. The letter doesn’t endorse amnesty, however, but instead calls for adding “additional legal avenues” for allowing undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States to stay in order to work.

“Conservatives oppose illegal immigration. We believe there is a right way and a wrong way to immigrate to the U.S. However, as conservatives we believe that our laws must reflect reality and common sense, be fiscally responsible, and avoid the loss of innocent life. … The status quo is unacceptable and clinging to the status quo — or tougher versions of it — is neither conservative nor principled. It has become clear that the only viable approach to reform is combining enforcement with additional legal avenues for those who wish to work in our economy, while also addressing the situation of those already here in the U.S.”

“This letter is a clear indication that Speaker Gingrich has a deep history of supporting amnesty,” Bachmann said in a statement. “I don’t agree that you should make 11 million workers legal because that in effect is amnesty and will only encourage more illegal immigrants to come here.”

Gingrich’s Iowa campaign directed characterized the attack as “bumper sticker politics” from “confused or unjust” political opponents.

Devin Henry can be reached at

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Jim Roth on 11/28/2011 - 11:26 am.

    I can’t stand either one of them but at least Gingrich seems to be trying to figure out a way to deal with a difficult issue without totally pandering to an extremist base. I haven’t seen a single issue yet where Bachmann has done that. She scores high marks from me for being a purist and true believer in her own rhetoric for the most part but I still haven’t figured out her stance on farm and healthcare subsidies. I think she’s way out to lunch on most issues.

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