(CNN) – Newt Gingrich responded to criticism from rival Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney over immigration by detailing his plan and attempting to show inconsistencies in the former Massachusetts governor's record with an abbreviated quote.
Gingrich, the former House speaker, sent his Twitter followers two links Wednesday, one to a page of his campaign website detailing his 10-step plan and another to a 2007 interview with Romney. The interview, conducted when Romney was governor, shows the two-time presidential candidate saying the illegal immigrants currently in the United States should "be able to stay, sign up for permanent residency or citizenship."
The link to the video was accompanied by a Tweet from Gingrich that read "Here's a trip down memory lane … So what's your position on citizenship for illegals again? (I oppose it.)"
However, the clip does not reflect his full point or the end of his sentence. A more complete video provided by the Romney campaign shows the candidate went on to say "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."
The back and forth on the issue started at Tuesday night's CNN National Security Debate when Gingrich advocated for a "humane" approach to illegal immigration.
"If you've come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home, period," Gingrich said. "If you've been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out."
Fellow White House hopefuls Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Romney jumped on the comments equating them to "amnesty," which Romney said is a "magnet."
"Programs that have said that if people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that's going to only encourage more people to come here illegally," Romney said. "The right course for our immigration system is to say we welcome people who want to come here legally."
Romney also said other magnets, like in-state tuition for illegal aliens and employers who knowingly higher illegal workers, should be stopped.
However, Gingrich did not back down amid the charges on or off the stage, instead saying he was "prepared to take the heat for saying let's be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship, but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families."
Gingrich's plan includes securing the border, updating the visa system and legal guest worker program, as well as creating an earned path to citizenship for the millions currently in the U.S.
– CNN's Steve Brusk and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.