Congrats to Newt for rising in the republican polls. My man is right up there with Mr. 9-9-9 and Flipper Mitt. It should be interesting to see how they run down the stretch.
Still, Newt might want to stop prepping for his debates against Barack Obama and start figuring out how he is going to get out of his latest little problem.
"..Gingrich said he didn't remember exactly how much he was paid, but a former Freddie Mac official said it was at least $1.5 million for consulting contracts stretching from 1999 to 2007. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter.
Speaking with reporters in Iowa, Gingrich said he provided "strategic advice for a long period of time" after he resigned as House speaker following his party's losses in the 1998 elections. He defended Freddie Mac's role and said, "every American should be interested in expanding housing opportunities." Long unpopular among Republicans, the federally backed mortgage lender has become a focal point of anti-government sentiment because of the housing crisis.
Gingrich said he welcomed scrutiny into the matter. "Everybody will dig up everything they can dig up," he said. "That's fine, they should."
I am glad you welcome the scrutiny Newt, because you are going to get it.
"In 2008, Gingrich suggested in a Fox News interview that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama should have to return campaign contributions he had received from executives of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. He said that in a debate with Obama, GOP presidential nominee John McCain "should have turned and said, `Senator Obama, are you prepared to give back all the money that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae gave you?'"
"Gingrich's history at Freddie Mac began in 1999, when he was hired by the company's top lobbyist, Mitchell Delk. He was brought in for strategic consulting, primarily on legislative and regulatory issues, the company said at the time. That job, which paid about $25,000 to $30,000 a month, lasted until sometime in 2002.
In 2006, Gingrich was hired again on a two-year contract that paid him $300,000 annually, again to provide strategic advice while the company fended off attacks from the right wing of the Republican Party.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for years had been under scrutiny from Republicans on Capitol Hill who opposed government involvement in the mortgage business and wanted to scale back the companies' size and impose tough regulation."
"In last Wednesday's Republican presidential debate, Gingrich sought to explain his role at Freddie Mac as that of an "historian" sounding dire warnings about the company's future. He said Freddie Mac officials told him "we are now making loans to people that have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do." He said his advice was to tell them, "this is insane."
"I said at the time, this is a bubble ... this is impossible. It turned out unfortunately I was right," Gingrich said.
Former Freddie Mac executives dispute Gingrich's description of his role.
Four people close to Freddie Mac say he was hired to strategize with his employer about identifying political friends on Capitol Hill who would help the company through a very difficult legislative environment. All four people spoke on condition of anonymity to be able to discuss the personnel matter freely.
Freddie Mac executives hoped that would speak positively about the company and its business model as he circulated among conservative groups and help to build intellectual support within his party.
Freddie Mac executives were looking to Gingrich to offer up new, inventive ways to think about old problems, the officials said, but that didn't materialize." [Source]
"He said his consulting firm, Gingrich Group, offered “strategic advice for a lot of different companies” but that he had done no lobbying.
One GOP rival, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, wasted no time in slamming Gingrich on Wednesday for "shilling" for the company.
Last week, Gingrich was asked at a GOP debate in Michigan what work he had done to secure a $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac.
“I offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” he replied. “My advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, ‘We are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that’s what the government wants us to do.’ As I said to them at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible.”
A Bloomberg News story earlier this week disputed Gingrich’s account, saying that those familiar with Gingrich’s work don’t recall any warnings about the company’s business model—and that instead, his job was to rally support for Freddie Mac among Republicans in Washington." [Source]
Historian?! Is that what they call pimps on K Street these days? Nice.
Jack Abramoff, of all people, called Newt corrupt. That's like being called a racist by David Duke.
Newt, enjoy your time at the top of the polls, I am guessing that you won't be there very long.