Gingrich: Romney Backs Amnesty for Illegals

Thursday, 24 Nov 2011 06:47 PM

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich fired back at Mitt Romney Thursday after the former Massachusetts governor criticized Gingrich for his “humane” policy of allowing some illegal immigrants to stay legally in the U.S.

Gingrich took to the social media Internet site Twitter to say that Romney advocated a similar approach as recently as 2007, during his first presidential bid.

Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker whose recent surge in the polls has him challenging Romney for front-runner status, posted a Twitter message linking to a clip of the former Massachusetts governor’s 2007 appearance on the NBC program “Meet the Press,” in which Romney said, “the 12 million or so that are here illegally should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship.”

Romney was asked by then-host Tim Russert if he agreed with the statement from an editorial that "Governor Mitt Romney expressed support for an immigration program that places large numbers of illegal residents on the path toward citizenship.” (see video below.)

Romney responded in terms similar to Gingrich’s position stated earlier this week: "`I don't believe in rounding up 11 million people and forcing them at gunpoint from our country. With these 11 million people, let's have them registered, know who they are. Those who've been arrested or convicted of crimes shouldn't be here; those that are paying taxes and not taking government benefits should begin a process towards application for citizenship, as they would from their home country.''

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