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Paul Krugman: GOP's Immigration Reform 'Problem Is Their Base Is Old White People'

02/03/2013 01:02 pm ET | Updated Feb 04, 2013

As the debates on immigration reform and gun control heat up, the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association have problems ahead, Paul Krugman predicted on Sunday. Those problems, he suggested, have to do with how the two groups fundamentally work.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist first weighed in on the bipartisan plan for comprehensive immigration reform unveiled by eight senators last week. It's the GOP that should be getting nervous, he said.

"The Republican Party has a problem," Krugman told host George Stephanopoulos. "The leadership understands that ... they're doomed if they are only the party of old white people, to put it bluntly. The problem is their base is old white people."

Krugman added that the senators' proposal to create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has "got to be good for everybody" and that "there's no possible reason not to do this."

Turning to gun control, Krugman said that the NRA's "bizarre" approach, in which it has dug in its heels, rather than make concessions, may actually be working against it.

"I think that the terms of the debate have shifted," Krugman said. "Now the craziness of the extreme pro-gun lobby has been revealed, and that has got to move the debate and got to move the legislation at least to some degree.

"The NRA is now revealed as an insane organization, and that matters quite a lot," he added.

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