Newt Gingrich wants to keep illegal aliens in this country so their children can work as school janitors.
OK, the former House speaker didn't exactly utter that sentence at Tuesday night's GOP 2012 presidential election, but he fully embraces the concept.
Following his proposal last week to fire school custodians and turn their work over to children -- child labor laws are "stupid," he says -- Gingrich played the "humane" card at the CNN national security forum.
It was a Rick Perry moment for the Georgian, who disingenuously asserted that no "humane" immigration policy would "break up families." You'll recall what happened when Perry tried that sanctimonious approach.
In fact, Gingrich's position is founded less on humanity than on fuzzy thinking and ethnic pandering. Always the clever rhetorician, his meandering discourse on illegal immigration was an attempt to justify his vote for amnesty in the 1980s -- a position that he holds to this day.
Gingrich was similarly mush-minded on foreign affairs.
He sounded like John McCain -- cranky and jingoistic -- when he blustered about Iran.
Then, returning to the kinder, gentler Newt, he called for budget cuts in defense.
But don't worry, neocons. Gingrich's tenure at the globalist Council on Foreign Affairs will always have him toeing the internationalist/interventionist line.
By contrast, Jon Huntsman made eminent sense on Tuesday night’s 2012 presidential election. More than any other candidate on the stage, the former Utah governor clearly articulated the need to fix our own crumbling political system before shopping "democracy" abroad.
The former ambassador to China came off as less extreme than Ron Paul and far more reasonable than Gingrich, who alternates between glibness and bellicosity -- neither of which is endearing or attractive in the long run.
Of course, Huntsman has his own explaining to do in regard to his service for Barack Obama and his issuance of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants as Utah governor. But, for the first time, Huntsman at least showed he can compete effectively on the debate stage, if moderators afford him equal time with the presumptive front-runners.
For all his supposed smarts as a Ph.D. holder, Gingrich and his spiel are getting old. Look for his bump in the GOP polls to flatten and fade after the immigration issue blew up in his face during the 2012 presidential election debate.
The tea party is over for Newt. In reality, it should never have started.