President Obama seems to be playing defense on immigration reform as he tries to blame the Republican Congress for failure to move an immigration bill. Perhaps he's starting to realize that his inaction on immigration has been starting to seriously damage his standings with Latino voters. The most recent Gallup Poll is shows only a 54% approval rating with Latino voters compared to 82% two years ago. In a close election, that could doom the President's prospects for re-election.
So is it really a surprise that at least one Republican candidate for President smells opportunity. Newt Gingrich had a reasonably good record on immigration when he was in Congress. He seemed to be abandoning those views last year when the Tea Party started to rise. But now he seems to be back in his groove. He's supporting legalization, studying Spanish, attending every Latino political forum he can and has even launched a bilingual web site for Latino conservatives called The Americano.
It's way too early to say that the Hispanic vote is in serious play, but President Obama certainly would be wise not to take the vote for granted.