Gingrich fires back at lobbying charge
November 15th, 2011
04:43 PM ET
10 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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Financial Reform • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt, it is true. You probably just forgot your shady past.

    November 15, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. emmy skadittle

    really the republicans have two Washington Lobbyists as candidates, pretty easy to buy them I guess.

    November 15, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Stu Steinberg

    Who cares? The only thing that matters is that he willingly took $300,000 of taxpayers' money from these scumbags. He should have refused to take the money and gone public early on with the fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were so screwed up that they had to ask this greasy weasel what to do. It is sickening.

    November 15, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt on this. Newt's done a lot of things I don't like, but he knows that with his history, any lobbying would be a huge red flag and would have been uncovered by someone ages ago. He's an advocate for his own interests, not someone else's.

    November 15, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Independent Voters

    Newt is not presidential he lobby with Bernie Mac and he cheated on his wives.

    November 15, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. Gino Martell

    First, let me make it clear: I am an Independent. Now my question. Is this the best the Republican party has to offer as an alternative to President Obama? There must be a meltdown in the GOP circles. Please bring Gov. Palenty back. He was the only serious candidate. Bring him back!

    November 15, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. William

    Honesty is being promoted by a man who was thrown out of congress for ethics violations, has admitted that he cheated on wives at least three times, and asked for a divorce from his wife while she was being treated for cancer in the hospital. A great portrait of a great man for president!

    November 15, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. monogopapenog

    His lips are moving ergo he's lying.

    November 15, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. John

    Newt Gingrich Is just about the Biggest Crook out there He Cheated on two wife. And he was forces to resign from Congress when Is was Speaker of the house On 84 ethics charges. You would think this man shouldn't even be able to run for President or any other public office.

    November 15, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. hmmm....

    This is why I like Newt- despite his past roles played, he is now in a different role and he understands history. As far as lobying...I have no problem with that. I will use all the lawyers in giovernment as an example of how the argument is more improtant than the deed- winning is more important than losing. Which lawyer would not lobby and then, when it is a disadvantage, go against what was lobbied for. I have no problem with a person lobbying if they have broken no laws. As we all know, politicians never lie but they seldom tell the truth so I will go by history and I like Newt...unlike the present day president who we still know little of, I know Newtas history and I am more comfortable with that than not knowing. I'm happy he stayed in. I wish the Dems would put up someone with more history to run against him.

    November 15, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Keith in Austin

    Wow! Wire Paladan and you other Liberal ilk on here are really going to start setting your alarm clocks early when a GOP President puts you to work next year!

    November 15, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    So – that's the going rate for a history teacher, is it? $300,000 per 'consultation'. Newt keeps shifting the facts to fit his worldview, which I think shows that he is either self-deluded, or is working very hard to pull the wool over America's collective eyes. This is the same guy who called himself a 'political outsider' today on FoxNews. Really? After 20 years in the House, including a tenure as Speaker – he has the gall to call himself an outsider?

    Whenever any reporter asks Newt a difficult question, he turns it around and accuses the reporter of being part of some big, imaginary plot to turn the world against him. Clinical psychologists have a word for that: DELUSIONAL. He rants and bullies and then puffs up his ego some more. He's like Palin, but knows bigger words. Can he just please go away?

    November 15, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Still Looking

    I have no idea who I will vote for but I am leaning toward Newt. I was, and still am, hoping for a Hillary jump in last minute but highly doubtful. Dems know this go round is a loss and they have no one else to do a Kennedy. Sindce I am not marrying Newt, since ethics charges in Washington are as important as stopping at a stop sign, I am leaning his way. I understand that people play roles in government just like sports- Look at Barny Frank, look at Howard Dean...they fit a spot and play a role but that does not mean they are single minded in that role. I like someone who can play multple roles, it means they can and will change based on the role played. So, this is politics, character assasination is expected so I listen much I would rather look at performance of the past and Newts is better than anyone else running. He will et things done. He is not afraid to work with others...he understands we are not free of our past and our future is simply the total sum of our past.

    November 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. GOP = Greed Over People

    "I have never lobbied."

    Would that be anything like "I have never cheated on my multiple wives?"

    November 15, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. carlos

    and he promotes his books and films while campaigning and also his wife s, but what could the egret looking write about???,,,,,really, she looks like an egret, hehehe

    November 15, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  16. honestly speaking

    We all will overlook the failures of the one we like and crucify the one we do not like for every perceived failure. That is why we have what we have. I'm not looking for what does not exist or the next coming of the Lord. I am looking for someone who will move things in Government better than what we have seen. So...I don't care for his marital life or political posturing by others looking for silly ethics charges that history shows us are meaningless. Bring on the debates about running this country and lets focus on that.

    November 15, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  17. carlos wonder you hide behind hmmm.....

    November 15, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Ben Dover

    @hmmm...So you like a cheater, and lobbyist, and a guy with 84 ethics violations?
    you no doubt thought GWB was the greatest President ever right? LMAO@U.

    November 15, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. DDanny1

    If we can trust anyone it's Newt. Just ask his ex-wives. Most the time when a married man tells his mistress he'll dump his wife and marry her he's lying. When Newt says it the mistress can literally take it to the bank every time. (Unless we don't know about the ones when he DIDN'T end up dumping his current wife and marrying them. What am I saying? Newt's not the kind of guy who would cheat on his mistress.

    November 15, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Jules

    So he got paid for offering advice – just like every other lobbiest does. I advise you to vote this way and here's why. I was just getting paid to offer advice. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck – it is probably a duck.

    November 15, 2011 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. Jules

    84 – count them – 84 echics violations – a resignation in disgrace. Come on GOP – you have a guy named Huntsman – that's the one you should be going with he's the only one out there that could offer us a decent choice.

    November 15, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. The FAT Blowhard who Cheated on his 1st Wife with his 2nd Wife, then Cheated on his 2nd Wife with his 3rd Wife (who was once a mistress while he was with the 2nd) is now the leader of the GOP Teabagging "Family Values" party?

    Newt is lying again....this idiot talks alot but can't do NOTHING!!!!

    ask his plenty wives and mistresses......

    November 15, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Jake

    but he just wants you to buy one of his books to read all about it!

    November 15, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    it's just Newt being Newt. Lie, exaggerate, evade

    November 15, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    Newt's going to have to really double down on his rhetoric to convince tens of millions of Americans he's "presidential" material. A zero to none probablity factor isn't exactly a success driven possibility for his eventual win.

    November 15, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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