Romney misfires in immigration answer

Mitt Romney may have made a blunder in an otherwise careful answer on immigration.

But there was confusion over what the former Massachusetts governor said.

Romney seemed to say that because schools in Massachusetts taught children in the language of their homes, "At the end of their education experience they could 'no speak English' well."

But others heard the remark as "couldn't all speak English well."

Depending on how voters heard the remark, it could be seen as mocking and may be a misfire in an otherwise carefully worded answer. It also could be very dangerous for Romney in the general election.

He has been hammered by Democrats and Hispanic groups for tacking to the right of the other GOP candidates on the issue, and Romney staffers have told The Hill that they have tried to find a way not to overstep on the issue to avoid offending Hispanic voters.

Newt Gingrich treaded carefully on immigration in Cuban-heavy Florida, and, besides that remark, Romney did as well.

Both Romney and Gingrich called for English as the official language of the U.S. despite their campaigns running Spanish-language ads in Miami. The issue is a bigger one in the Cuban community than other immigration-related ones because Cubans are treated differently than other immigrants and are allowed to stay in the U.S. if they reach its shores.

They both also said they opposed the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to become citizens if they enrolled in the military or went to college. But Gingrich said he'd support a version that only included military service, something Romney was quick to interject he agreed with.

Romney also said that "self-deportation" would happen naturally if the U.S. strictly enforced hiring laws because illegal immigrants wouldn't be able to find work in the U.S. The comments caused a bit of a stir in the crowd.

This post was last updated at 10:57 p.m.