Transcript for Gingrich on National Security
Your voice your vote in the first Republican debate with a new front runner Newt Gingrich is the latest rival to top the field and he was in his element last night. In a debate devoted almost entirely in -- security and foreign policy. Jake Tapper covered -- from Washington Jake this was the -- -- first time at the center of all the action you have to fight for attention at all. That's right George and polls show Newt Gingrich rising Mitt Romney coasting in Herman Cain falling and they. All three pretty much kept to that script last night -- all eight candidates. Really mixing it up and having a tough words for one another as they debated life and death issues of national security. That was former speaker Newt Gingrich went out on a -- in front of a very conservative audience. By defending his controversial position on legalizing. Illegal workers you've been here 25 years been paying taxes and obeying the law. I don't think we're gonna separate you from your family -- you forcefully and kick you out amnesty. Is a magnet. But the sang that we're gonna say to the people -- come here illegally that now you're all gonna get to -- that will only encourage more people to do the same thing. He fought with congressman Ron Paul over the Patriot Act. I think the Patriot Act that is unpatriotic because it undermines our liberty terrorism it's a crime and we should deal with it. We dealt with it rather well with Timothy McVeigh Timothy McVeigh succeeded. That's the whole point. I don't want a law that says. After we lose a major American city we're sure gonna come and find you. I want a law that says you try to take out American cities work. The -- from. Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann had some harsh words for governor Rick Perry over aid to Pakistan. They've showed us time after time that they can't be trusted. I would not send them one -- Period. With all due respect to the governor I think that's highly and I need these weapons could find their way out of out of Pakistan into Washington DC. And a nuclear weapon could be set off and this city. But the big loser for the night seemed to be Herman Cain. We even had trouble with the name -- moderator Wolf Blitzer. Is it okay for Muslim Americans. To get more intensive pat downs -- security when they go through airports no blitz that's oversimplifying -- I'm sorry but -- -- it will okay. He -- a lot of meandering non answers. Like this one on aid to Africa it depends upon looking at the program. And asking the question has that -- been successful in other words let's look at the whole problem. It may be worthwhile to continue it may not. A few hours after the debate political junkies turned their channels -- Jimmy Fallon and night before with Bachmann coming out of this gas. His house band purposely played a song with an insulting sexist title Fallon said nothing about it on his show but he tweeted an apology. I'm so sorry about the intro -- road I really hope she comes back. And George some Iowa Republicans say Newt Gingrich's position on illegal immigration. Could really hurt him with a conservative voters that make up. The base of the Republican Party in that state and speaking of those voters a new poll out today indicates that more than one half of white evangelicals do not consider. Mormon -- to be christianity. And those voters overwhelmingly. Have serious doubts about Mitt Romney as Republican nominee all -- in a general election against Barack Obama they would vote for Mitt Romney -- more closely bunched pack in Iowa but -- Typewritten -- thanks very much.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.