Newt Gingrich Under Fire

The former speaker's opponents attack his moderate view on immigration.
3:14 | 11/23/11

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Transcript for Newt Gingrich Under Fire
Your voice your vote and the latest Republican debate last night. The contenders broke some new ground Michelle Bachmann said Rick Perry doesn't understand the Pakistan nuclear problem. They've showed us time after time that they can't be trusted I would not send them one -- Period. Live with all due respect to the governor I think that's highly Nike because these weapons could find their way out of out of Pakistan. In -- New York City or into Washington DC and a nuclear weapon could be set off in this city. And Herman Cain who stumbled off his front runner's -- got a little confused. Is it OK for Muslim Americans. To get more intensive pat -- -- security when they go through airports no blitz that's oversimplifying if I'm sorry but this summit will okay. But the big story is what happened -- the two current front runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich tangle over the hot button issue of immigration. Here's ABC's Jake Tapper. Newt Gingrich's long advocated a moderate position on illegal immigration. But what -- new front runner status everyone's now paying attention you've been 125 years you've been paying taxes -- obeying the -- You belong to a local church I don't think we're gonna separate you from your -- -- -- you forcefully and kick you out there is news that is often means his opponents are on the attack. Well I don't agree that you would make eleven million workers legal because that an effective amnesty amnesty. Is a magnet I'm prepared to take the heat for saying let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship. But by signing a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their governor this. Position is not so different from Mitt Romney's four years ago the twelve million or so -- are here illegally. Should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship. But they should not be given a special pathway and Romney remains Fuzzy today when it comes to weather every illegal immigrants should be deported I'd like to start drawing lines here about who gets to stay and who gets to -- gulf still a moderate position on this issue threatens to hurt Gingrich just as it did Texas governor Rick Perry. Who slide in the polls began when he -- a similar view. Today Iowa Republican congressman Steve King told Iowa public television. That it makes Gingrich less likely to receive his endorsement now -- -- a little bit away last night when I heard David this subject came up because of Gingrich's support for the moderate even liberal in 1986. Immigration reform bill signed by Ronald Reagan. Reagan son Michael the conservative talk radio host said his late father would have applauded Gingrich he would -- the Republican Party. You better find a way to reach out -- Hispanic population or you may find yourself on the ash heap of history. A Republican -- more moderate views on immigration reform could make several key battleground states with high Latino populations. More competitive against President Obama not to mention. Helping with moderate swing voters George but it's the conundrum primary politics that what helps -- in the general election. Can hurt you on the way to the nomination it's -- risk now that might pay off later he Jake Tapper thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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