(CNN) -- Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has received the endorsement of the nation's largest Hispanic Republican group.
Somos Republicans, which says it has a membership of 6,000 people,
issued a statement Monday saying the former speaker of the House "knows
the importance of the Latino community" and "has been working hard for
many years to include American Hispanics in the overall conversation for
a better America."
"We believe Speaker Gingrich is the most Hispanic-friendly candidate
in the race," Steve Rodriguez, a spokesman for the group, told CNN in a
phone interview from Colorado.
Gingrich has made a concerted effort reaching to South Carolina Latinos ahead of Saturday's primary in that state.
Gregg Torrales, an independent voter from Columbia, told CNN he was
contacted by the Gingrich camp and says he is also considering voting
for him. (Continues)
NYT 1:04 p.m. | Updated Four
Christian conservative leaders who attended a meeting of evangelicals
in Texas last week issued a statement Monday reiterating their firm
support for Newt Gingrich.
After the meeting ended on Saturday,
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, announced that a
“supermajority” had coalesced around Rick Santorum in the hope that a
more unified evangelical vote could stop Mitt Romney and result in the
nomination of a more reliable conservative. He said that participants
had voted 85 to 29 to support Mr. Santorum.
But Mr. Gingrich’s
supporters called the tally misleading because several pro-Gingrich
participants had left before the final vote. While acknowledging that
Mr. Santorum had won majority support, they said that initial news
accounts of a “consensus” were incorrect.
“It is unfortunate that
early press reports incorrectly stated that there was a consensus for
Santorum, or that the ’150 leaders endorsed Santorum.’ Such was not the
case. Many there were and still are for Newt Gingrich,” said a statement
issued Monday by J.C. Watts, a former Oklahoma congressman and a
leading African-American conservative who is now a consultant; George
Barna, a prominent Christian political analyst; the Rev. Jim Garlow,
pastor of Skyline Church in La Mesa, Calif., and a leader of the
campaign against same-sex marriage; and Richard Lee, a prominent Baptist
pastor in Atlanta. (Continues)