Gingrich working to release Freddie Mac contract
January 23rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich working to release Freddie Mac contract

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Monday he asked his former company, the Center for Health Transformation, to release its consulting contract with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

But the former House speaker offered no firm answer on whether the documents would go public before Florida's primary on January 31.

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"I'm very comfortable with it being released," Gingrich said on ABC's "Good Morning America," though adding the company had a "number of confidentiality agreements" to sort through.

His comments came one day after rival Mitt Romney catapulted a strong line of attack against Gingrich in Florida, blasting the former speaker as a corrupt Washington insider who bungled his time in Congress and resigned "in disgrace."

Romney also re-launched criticism of Gingrich's time as a consultant with Freddie Mac, calling on the candidate to release records of his contract with the agency in which he made at least $1.6 million during two different time periods (1999 to 2002 and 2006 to 2008).

Despite his opponents' claims, Gingrich maintains he did no lobbying of any kind and reiterates most of the income paid for overhead and staff at his firm.

"Romney keeps using the word lobbyist, I'm sure, because his consultants tell him it scores well," Gingrich said Monday. "It's not true. He knows it's not true. He's deliberately saying things he knows are false."

Saying it would be "very helpful" to have the Freddie Mac records released, Gingrich confirmed his attorneys were talking with the company but said ultimately it was up to the firm, not his campaign, to make the decision.

He then pivoted to Romney, saying if anyone needs to be more open, it was his presidential opponent.

"Here's somebody who has released none of his business records, who has decided to make a stand on transparency without being transparent," Gingrich said.

The South Carolina primary winner repeatedly called on Romney to release his tax returns last week, yet failed to prompt a strong commitment from the former governor to do so before the primary ended.

Romney announced this weekend, however, he will release his tax returns on Tuesday, one week before Florida's primary.

Also see:

Santorum takes on Iran

Romney takes aim at Gingrich in Florida

Who is Saul Alinsky? A Gingrich line explained

Ethics penalty 'reimbursement,' says Gingrich


Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. diridi

    Economy is doing well, Republican corruption with Freddie Mac, advise 2.5 million dollars..ha... Obama2012

    January 23, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. gt

    gingrich is a typical insider who gets there greedy hands on tax payers money....freddie and fannie are just another example of corruption...

    January 23, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Phil in KC

    Did you see this guy on Face the Nation? He's now saying he was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac. After already admitting that he took money. Then all the denials regarding the stories that have come out about his personal life. He is the embodiment of revisionist history. I guess that shouldn't surprise me, though. Republicans are big on rewriting history to suit their own personal agendas.

    January 23, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Robert

    "Excuse Me, Mr. Gingrich, but we'd like to pay you 1.6 million dollars. In return, we want you to: give us information based on all your years working in Congress, and specifically as speaker; to help us develop a plan that will allow us to remain a predatory lender; and to talk with all of your past associates on the 'hill, and ask them to vote the way you feel about it."
    "Will I be called a lobbyist?"
    "Does that bother you?"
    "Only if it's true..."
    "Okay, then you're not a lobbyist. Are you okay with it now?"
    "SURE!!!"

    January 23, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    When or if Newt releases this report depends on when or if Romney releases his tax records and how well Newt is doing in the Florida polls. Nancy Pelosi could probably leak a copy of Newt's ethics violation report, but I imagine she's saving that for the general election. Mostly though, I want to see the public reaction to Mitt's tax records.

    Orville Reddinbacher must be making a fortune from this primary season!

    January 23, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. gg

    theres know way i would want to shake hands with the slim ball–him and reagon and there trickle down all but destroyed middle class america,if you think bush all but killed america wait till this guy gets done

    January 23, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Brenda

    I'm glad Romney is on the attack. I wish he was a little more a week ago. Gingrich is selfish and self centered and can never be trusted. He's a man who shut down government, was forced to resign over ethics violations, was a cheater in the home. It's truly disgusting. You can't lead the free world by shutting it down and you can't win (long term) by cheating. With a little pushing, he will self destruct.

    January 23, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Jack

    You say consultant, I say lobbyist. You say Freddie, I say Fannie. Consultant, Lobbyist, Freddie, Fannie - Let's call the whole thing off.

    Yeah, you were not a registered lobbyist but these companies hired you because they wanted a historian (that was your first answer before you switched to consultant) to chat with. If they wanted a historian they could have gone to Georgetown or Princeton for one.

    January 23, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  9. jpmichigan

    Thank you! Release any and all documents needed to prove Romney wrong. Gingrich is the fighter for common middle class Americans. Let see Romney's jobs numbers while at Bain, not one created after he left by other companies that bought or took over those companies. As Governor he created 45,500 jobs in 4 years. Go to FactCheck.org and find out for yourself.

    January 23, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. John

    I don't see any reason why Newt Gingrich can show his Contract with Fannie May. Are does he have something to hide and he doesn't want people to find out. And If he does bring It out It only going to be what he want you to see.

    January 23, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. rs

    You just have to love that the two GOP candidates in the lead (both millionaires BTW) are having to release personal documention to show that they weren't as capitalistic, or rich, or gamed the system as their opponent.

    What fake puffery. More fuel for the anyone but a GOP candidate voter.

    January 23, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. sensible

    Yeah, last year's return only. What about before? Taking a page from the 'birthers'; how do we know these are the 'real' returns and not doctored?

    January 23, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. kit8

    Newt a mortgage consultant?? Perhaps someone can remind the former speaker that the only reason he got a "consulting" contrat from Freddi Mac was because of his politial contacts and not his mortgage expertise. Freddi Mac is wise enough to know Newt knows as much about mortgage as anyone who got a mortgage but his insider Washington status means he could use his political contacts to advance their business i.e. hosing taxpayers for their screwups.

    January 23, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  14. Mike

    Republican on Republican crimes..............I love it!

    January 23, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. GI Joe

    He's working to get then to "clean it up".

    January 23, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Tyceson J. Davis

    Romney's no better, having received financial backing from El Salvadoran right-wing death squads...

    January 23, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Tyceson J. Davis

    Or Santorum, the ex-professional lobbyist and born-again politician. Santorum was actually in the top ten in Politico's top 100 corrupt politicians – think he'll drop his allegiance to lobbyism if he's elected?

    January 23, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  18. JT

    A vote for Newt is a vote for Obama.

    January 23, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. sensible

    I was talking about Romney's (ouR-MONEY's) return.

    January 23, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Neil

    All obama needs to do is buy air time and play this Romney tune of -Mitt Romney catapulted a strong line of attack against Gingrich in Florida, blasting the former speaker as a corrupt Washington insider who bungled his time in Congress and resigned "in disgrace."

    That will be end of Gingrich and gop

    January 23, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Steve Moore Smithton, Mo.

    Releasing the contract betweeen Newt and Freedie / Fannie Mac means nothing. The minutes and agendas are what we really need to see. The question to Newt should be, what did you do and when did you do it?. What did you say and when did you say it? Newt only cares about Newt. He has no right to call others liars when in fact he is the biggest liar of the bunch.

    January 23, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Bob

    Center for Health Transformation? From their website: " the Center unites stakeholders across the spectrum (providers, employers, vendors, trade associations, disease groups, think tanks) and government leaders at both the state and federal level to drive transformation according to a shared vision and key principles." A lobbyist organization. Notice that the only stakeholders not listed are the patients/general public who pays the tab. Transformation is an interesting choice of words.

    January 23, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  23. Keith in Austin

    So let's now see Obama's college transcripts from Columbia University that he's been personally hiding from the American public! Isn't it curious that no fellow students even remember him? WHAT IS HE HIDING? Could it be that he registered as a foreign student? Perhaps his dissertation was a radical diatribe opposing the United States! Come on CNN. Let's see you do some investigative journalism on something other than GOP candidates for ONCE! We know you can do it.....NOT!

    January 23, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Hyde

    Seriously, now...Is there someone out there who would really vote for this guy??!

    January 23, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. jim

    If it acts like a lobbyist, talks like a lobbyist, bargains like a lobbyist, and smells like a lobbyist.......it's a lobbyist!

    January 23, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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