Video of the Day: Romney Likes Illegals, Too? A Newt-Mitt Twitter Fight

More

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich clashed over illegal immigration at Tuesday night's GOP presidential debate, and today the media is zeroing in on a newly revived policy fight. It's Romney's bottom-line, no-amnesty approach against Gingrich's notion that longtime, taxpaying illegal residents should be afforded some leniency.

Today, the candidates took their fight to Twitter. Gingrich tweeted the video above -- from a Dec. 16, 2007 appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press":

Screen shot 2011-11-23 at 12.17.23 PM.png

Romney, apparently busy basking in the glow of Sen. John Thune's (R-S.D.) endorsement, allowed senior aide Eric Fehrnstrom to respond with a link to the former governor's full quote, which, in its entirety, isn't quite as pro-illegal-immigrant as the clip Gingrich tweeted:

My own view is, consistent with what you saw in the Lowell Sun, that those people who had come here illegally and are in this country, the 12 million or so that are here illegally, should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship, but they should not be given a special pathway, a special guarantee that all of them get to stay here for the rest of their lives merely by virtue of having come here illegally, and that, I think, is the great flaw in the final bill that came forward from the Senate.

So here's what we learned from last night's debate and the ensuing Twitter spat:

1) Newt Gingrich opposes "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, but he says there should be exceptions. Specifically, Gingrich holds that any "reasonable person" would be hard pressed to tell a taxpaying constituent of 25 years that he has to leave his family and return to the country of his birth, after coming here illegally long ago and becoming a productive member of American society.

2) Mitt Romney opposes "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, and he says Gingrich's idea of allowing exceptions would incentivize foreign nationals to come to the U.S. illegally.

3) Newt Gingrich opposes Mitt Romney's 2007 opinion that illegal residents should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship.

4) Mitt Romney also said in 2007 that he did not believe in a "pathway" to citizenship for illegal residents or a "special guarantee" as part of that sign-up process.

Get ready for a potentially convoluted debate about humaneness and the rule of law.

Video credit: teaparty2012us/YouTube, NBC

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In