Gingrich fires back at lobbying charge
November 15th, 2011
04:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich fires back at lobbying charge

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich fired back Tuesday at accusations that he was paid to lobby Republicans on behalf of mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

"I was up there and that's just not true," he told CNN. "I have never lobbied."

"Let me make it very clear," the GOP contender continued. "There were no contracts at any time we took with anybody that involved lobbying."

Gingrich, who's recently seen a rise popularity according to national polls, faced down a Bloomberg News report that alleged the former House Speaker was hired to gain GOP support on Capitol Hill as the government-backed mortgage company came under fire during the subprime mortgage meltdown.

Answering questions about his involvement during a recent debate of 2012 Republican presidential candidates, Gingrich asserted, "I have never done any lobbying. Every contract that was written during the period when I was out of the office, specifically said I would do no lobbying, and I offered advice.

"And 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.' "

Asked whether his "advice" included benefits about the Freddie Mac model at a Tuesday campaign event in Sheffield, Iowa, Gingrich said, "Let me draw a distinction: Government-sponsored enterprises which includes the Transcontinental Railroad has a long history of being fairly successful. Now that doesn't mean with bad management and with bad ideas that it can't be a failure. But in the long run it's actually been a useful model for the country overall."

"But I did no lobbying of any kind. That's all I've got to say about it," he insisted.

As a reporter attempted to ask another question, Gingrich cut him off: "That's all I've got to say about it."

- CNN's Jim Acosta and Erika Dimmler contributed to this report.

Also see:

Newspaper editor defends Cain interview

Cain stumbles over Libya

Gloria Cain: I never believed allegations were true


Filed under: 2012 • Financial Reform • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. MikeInIndiana

    Just more Newt blather and spin on his own history. The guys a proven crook, liar, flip-flopper, womanizer, etc. With the exception of Ron Paul, this whole field of GOP runners is a joke. I'll end up voting for President Obama again, mainly because I won't vote for any of these screwballs. Just like I could not bring myself to vote for McCain/Palin when they were offered up in the last election. Obama in 2012 is the safest bet. Any of these Republicans would be a complete train wreck. It scares the heck out of me to think of a Republican president in charge along with this insane Republican congress. If you think the middle class is screwed now, elect one of these Republicans. Like I said – With the exception of Ron Paul.

    November 16, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. stevetall

    So... Newt "Ethics Violation" Gingrich has never lobbied. News flash–Trying to get people to support your position, or the position you are paid to promote, is called "lobbying". Look it up, Newt. It's right there. It's also not surprizing to anyone that you would lie about it, especially since your word is only good if it's convenient to you. Check with all your previous wives, your previous House service, and your general attitude of entitlement. Just because you say it does not constitute fact.

    November 16, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. epicism

    Gingrich reminds me of a very angry iteration of the Pillsbury dough boy.

    November 16, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. Antonio666

    How many ways can you spell "Horse Manure?"

    November 16, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Newmoon2

    Newt has the moral fiber of overcooked spaghetti. He 'invents' his own version of history and because he actually BELIEVES it, he thinks he's not lying. Sorry, Newt... some of us know better. And as a history teacher, you should have learned from Cain that telling the press you won't talk about it doesn't make the story go away.

    November 16, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. abtime

    It is only fair that his past becomes a matter of review. Everyone else's has. The question is can he stand to revisit his past. From his response now it doesn't seem that he can.

    November 16, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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