MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke with dozens of Hispanic voters during a town hall meeting in Manchester, talking to them about immigration and campaign finance.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

Gingrich also defended himself against charges of racial insensitivity during the town hall meeting.

A black man told Gingrich Sunday he was insulted over the former speaker’s comments that most African Americans rely on food stamps rather than paychecks.

Gingrich pushed back, clarifying his position on the issue.

“There is a real problem in America. We have a president who has put more people on food stamps — people, I didn’t say any ethnic group, people — than any other president in history,” Gingrich said.

“I would like to get more people on paychecks, and I said I would like to debate the issue of food stamps vs. paychecks,” added Gingrich.

As for the immigration issue, Gingrich stated that he would create a program allowing illegal immigrants that have been in the U.S. for 20 years and have an American sponsor to become legal residents

“We have to end a period of having people in the shadows. It’s bad for the country. It’s bad for the people. It leaves them to get exploited. It is dangerous. It means those who need help are afraid to show up and ask for it,” said Gingrich.

“So, I wanna find a path that gets us to a system where 99.9 percent of everyone here in the United States is here legally,” Gingrich added.

Gingrich said that those residents would also have to go back to their home country to apply for U.S. citizenship. He also wants to modernize the visa program to make it easier to come to the U.S. legally.

Comments (14)
  1. Opinion 101 says:

    Hey you know what, that may be true..Many folks rely on foodstamps, but you know what food is expensive. Lets talk about some of the Asian people who own convenience stores, and are able to use EBT cards to purchase the food for the store?They all have the same names. Also, allowing all of these illegal people to become legal is one thing, but lets take a step back. That means that all of the immigrants are going to be employed, and the Americans will not be. What people don’t realize is that it starts with the way many Americans think. We are spoiled. Many of us wont go out and work at Dunkin Donuts because we need to support our family, while the foreigners..that’s all they know. They are accustomed to a hard working lifestyle. We are spoiled. It is simple. We have a system that allows us to have things, so many abuse it. America has to change its way of thinking FIRST, then the elimination of foodstamps will happen. Not only that but why is cereal $6.00, and milk $5.00? Seriously….I think its the people who are recieving cash from Welfare that should get jobs..Foodstamps, I think everyone should be entitled to atleast $50 bucks!

    1. web says:

      I agree there is widespread abuse with the Welfare program. It should be abolished and started fresh with major restrictions, and frequent checking for fraud.
      Frosted Flakes and GM cereal is always on sale 4/$10..use a few coupons like I do and you won’t spend more around $1 for it. Use your brain and use some coupons…that’s one way to save money. Milk…I pay $3.80 and am north of Boston. If it’s that expesive, try evaporated’s cheaper and I hear it tastes the same.
      I wouldn’t want food stamps or any welfare. I don’t want to rely on the government to tell me what and how much to eat. I’d rather make a shopping list, use my coupons and shop smartly. But that’s me.

    2. petem says:

      Opinion, You and web are ideal examples of what’s wrong in this country. Morons who THINK they’ve seen tough times and therefore know what other people should do to help themselves.
      The vast majority of people taking welfare are doing so because they can’t find work or can’t work! Just like a conservative to turn the argument against the victim to avoid the obvious culprit. The reason we are in a hole is because Corporate America has been allowed to sell us down the river. If there were any consequences for sending jobs overseas, just to boost executive’s pay packages, we would be in much better shape. NAFTA, Free trade with China? Really? That’s supposed to help WHO?
      The only thing worse is the politician who claims he’s a Christian and acts completely against the actual Christian Bible.
      Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy, Hypocrisy!!!

      1. web says:

        Nice name calling. From personal experience, absolutely every single person I know on welfare is a fraud. Every one. I know there are people out there with need, I was born dirt poor. We relied on family and ourselves. We didn’t ask the government for a hand out, we relied on family. And if you’re Christian, does Christ call people ‘morons’? look in a mirror.

      2. web says:

        And what, you take offense to my giving advice about coupons? You don’t like coupon usage? I thought it was a nice tip, I pass it on to family and friends all the time. Why get mad at someone for offering a helpful tip on how to save a few dollars at the grocery store?
        And I disagree with you, I think fraud is much larger than you are willing to admit.

      3. petem says:

        call a wahhmmbulance…i love how righty’s get all upset about name calling when THEY’RE on the receiving end. get over your self…
        from personal experience every right wing person I know is a selfish, self centered DB. Just as true as your comment on welfare people. If your so upstanding and correct you should report those people.
        By the way, I’m not a Christian, (because I THINK and don’t rely on the made up words of some sky god to tell me what to think), but I think the stupidity of the sheep that the Republicans count on to stay in power, he would breakdown and use that word.

      4. Stanley11 says:

        Petem it’s people like you who think that everyone on welfare truly needs it and that every illegal immigrant is here for a better life that are the ones driving this country into the dirt. Like web, I know 3 people that are on welfare and they admit that they simply don’t want to work. One of them had 2 extra kids so that they get more money. Like most Liberals that I know, you have the attitude of “let someone else do it for me”. That’s the attitude dragging this country down, and it’s a filthy bacteria that is growing.

      5. petem says:

        I don’t say that everyone one welfare is in need, I am sure beyond doubt that there is fraud in the system, but it is the fraud and the way it is or isn’t found that you should be attacking not everyone on welfare. I also think you need to root out the source of the problem when it comes to generational use or abuse of the system. There are areas in this state as there are in probably all others that have such a low potential for people to get out, many don’t, many may give up trying. THAT is what we need to go after and change, because those people can become productive people with a purpose. I think my perspective is one that people will work if they are made to feel that they have something to offer and some path to a better life through that effort, this method encourages rather than demonizes these people. That difference is where success or failure in breaking the cycle happens, imho.

        Re: your last little shot; ‘Like most Liberals that I know, you have the attitude of “let someone else do it for me”’; You don’t know me so don’t assume things I’m thinking or how I conduct my life. Without a college education I have been able to support my family with my wife working part time ’til the last few years, and up ’til 10/31, I was employed. Now I’m looking again and I am doing it for myself. So much for bacteria.

  2. response says:

    I have no problem with helping those who are truly in need.
    The problem this country has with welfare and food stamps, is the amount of abuse in the system.
    Petem is correct, there are many who just can’t find work. There are hundreds of way people take advantage of the system and that needs to stop.

  3. Cheryl says:

    First of all Gingrich is used to speaking to people who get it…..he said he would accept an invitation to speak to the NAACP about his idea of paychecks for black people vs paychecks. ANY black person in this Country that CAN work and would rather collect food stamps obviously will never get what he is talking about. ONLY those who hate having to bow down to these idiots at the SS for a few dollars each month KNOW that they would much rather have a job that they earn their own money to buy their own food and ask nobod for nothing! this is what Gingrich is talking about. The most recent statistics STATE that the majority of blacks in this County are on food stamps! The Majority of those receiving food stamps are WHITE! Gingrich KNOWS this and he also knows that there are some that are content to keep both blacks and whites in this shape so that they can pocket millions each year! Wake up NAACP this is probably the first white man in a long time to tell the truth and have the guts to do something about it.

  4. Brandy says:

    I am utterly tired, sick and revolted of seeing a woman with their nails done their hair DID two shopping carts full of food with an iphone in hand paying with FOODSTAMPS!!! Then to top it all off as I walk out with my meagerly bag of what I can afford for the week she shuffles everything into a brand new CAR!!! I
    I agree the system needs to be done away with it. Too many people cheat this system and those that need the help never get it. People live on this assistance for years and never get off of it. This isn’t a race issue and those that are making it a race issue are racist so grow up and and throw your race cards back in the deck.

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