Democrats denounced Romney's position Wednesday. And some defended Gingrich, which may be of little help in Republican primaries.
"The truth is, he's correct," Rep. Charles Gonzales, the Texas Democrat who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told reporters. "I'm hoping former Speaker Gingrich doesn't start walking back from it."
Steve Duprey, a Republican National Committee member from New Hampshire, who is uncommitted in the presidential race, said he applauds Gingrich for tackling the touchy immigration issue. "But he's going to have a problem with the conservatives," Duprey said
Some conservative journals are taking a wait-and-see approach to Gingrich's prospects.
"If 2012 were an ordinary election year, Gingrich would be doomed by his gaffes, three marriages and fleeting alliances with Hillary Clinton on health care and Nancy Pelosi on global warming," columnist Fred Barnes wrote in the Weekly Standard. But Republicans are obsessed with ousting President Barack Obama, he said.
"And if that means choosing a candidate with a lurid past and a penchant for self-destruction," Barnes said, then Republicans "are likely to swallow hard and nominate Gingrich."
Romney will keep arguing that he is best-suited instead.
Associated Press writers Thomas Beaumont in Iowa and Philip Elliott in Washington contributed to this report.
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