(CNN) – Newt Gingrich fended off criticism of his work with Freddie Mac Tuesday, the day after the firm he founded released a contract representing one year of work for the mortgage giant.
Gingrich specifically sought to clarify a remark he made at Monday's NBC News debate, when he said his firm hired a lobbying expert to guide them on lobbying rules.
Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @politicalticker
Gingrich said Monday, "I think it's pretty clear to say that I have never, ever gone and done any lobbying. In fact, we brought in an expert on lobbying law and trained all of our staff. And that expert is prepared to testify that he was brought in to say here is the bright line between what you can do as a citizen and what you do as a lobbyist."
Critics, including rival Mitt Romney's campaign, seized upon that remark, saying it was an indication of Gingrich's true intentions with Freddie Mac. In an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Gingrich hit back.
"This is the kind of cynicism that leaves you in despair, okay? We want to make sure we were never lobbying, so we bring in somebody who's an expert to say this is what lobbying is, this is what you can do as a citizen," Gingrich said on CNN's "John King USA."
He added, "Now I would have thought that was a sign of being careful, that it was a sign of working looking ahead, it was a sign of doing the right thing."
Gingrich said his chief rival in the race for the 2012 GOP nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, was knowingly spreading mistruths about Gingrich's record with Freddie Mac.
"I think governor Romney just doesn't get it," Gingrich said. "I also think he quite frankly doesn't care about the facts, and I think he was throwing words around that his consultants said sounded good in focus groups with no regard for whether or not they were true."
Gingrich also responded to the critique that his contract was signed with Freddie Mac's lobbying director. The name on the contract released Monday is Craig Thomas, the firm's vice president of public policy.
"They were asking my advice in public policy and he was asking my advice in public policy," Gingrich said. "Now again, I didn't actually care who signed the contract, I cared what I did and what I did was offer strategic advice bringing to bear both my knowledge as a historian and my knowledge as a former speaker of the House."