Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is defending his conservative record.
Gingrich on Thursday evening pushed back against rivals who say he hasn't been consistently conservative and cite his one-time support for a requirement that Americans buy health insurance. Gingrich says he has changed his positions when he learns new facts, but says claims he is not conservative are "laughable."
Gingrich opened the final debate before Iowans caucus by pointing to his tenure as House speaker: an overhaul of welfare programs, four balanced budgets and low unemployment. He also points to his role helping Republicans win the majority in the House during 1994's midterm elections and, before that, his support for Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.