Washington (AP) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has taken to the internet to head off an angry backlash, after he equated bilingual education with "the language of living in a ghetto."
He's posted a video statement, read in Spanish, on YouTube. It's subtitled in English.
The Georgia Republican is mulling a presidential bid.
He's now saying his "word choice was poor" when he said bilingual education should be replaced because English is the language of prosperity, "not the language of living in a ghetto."
He made the comments Saturday in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.
The Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and educational fund says the YouTube statement is a "step in the right direction."
Bilingual programs teach students basic skills in their native language so they do not fall behind while mastering English.
Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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