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

    Newt Gingrich / Tom Delay

    Thanks for the memorys ?

    November 15, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  2. Terri Mafazy

    I think we are all so weary of superficial charm as the number 1 requirement for POTUS, I now want brains, bravery, and balls.

    November 15, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Orchid333

    And so it begins... the benefits of being "up" in the polls!

    November 15, 2011 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. steven harnack

    So he's another one of these guys who saw the future but didn't tell anybody that he saw it until after it happened? I'm always inclined to doubt people who have such a long history of dishonesty.

    November 15, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Grand Oil Party

    If the man could lie to every woman he's ever married, what makes people think he wouldn't lie to become the most powerful man in the world? Just sayin'

    November 15, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. AlaskaPalin

    He reminds me a bit of richard viii. He does have a way with words. He could be seen as vice president but remember cheeney.

    November 15, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. jerry

    Hey you leftys who are bashing Gingrich... you are now turning away from Cain and focusing on Gingrich eh? Well yes he was CHARGED with 84 ethic violations when he was speaker of the house...true... 83 were dropped and the last one was really goofy..not even worth explaining. how many of you morons voted for slick willie clinton who are putting Gingrich down for his marriages/divorces? Both clintons (it was reported) couldn't stay in their own beds..and talk about ethics violations...bring a dump truck and a trailer (a long one). hahaha

    November 15, 2011 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  8. jerry

    How much lobbing is bill clinton doing even as his wife is Sec of State..itself an ethics violation of constitutional dementions....and we could fill this page with pelosi, and dirty harry's ethics issues...

    November 15, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Newt is a liar and a cheat, ask wife #1 and wife #2!

    November 15, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  10. LacrosseMom(real one)

    @ "Hmmmm"...... you wish the Dems would put up someone with "more history"....... what kind of history do you want????

    President Obama has plenty of history, if you do not know it, it is your fault for not being informed.

    November 15, 2011 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  11. Grow up already...

    Maybe Newt just considers such things his "private life"... Which means he thinks he can do anything he wants by labelling it so...

    November 15, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. New Age Independent

    84 ethics charges? You fail to mention that 83 were dropped. The last one "he use of a tax exempt college course for political purposes." for which he paid his penalty for, is minor compared to the tax evasion that Obama appointments have had, much less Democrats who use rent controlled housing for their offices, etc.

    November 15, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. James

    Like Obama is "Squeaky Clean"–This whole thing has a life of its own. The press sways national opinion back and forth like a yo yo–Just wish they would report the news rather than give me their highly edited opinion–We used to call it "Yellow Journalism". Not sure what they call it now–

    November 15, 2011 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. GodofHellfire

    Meanwhile, the Obama took sides and shipped an untold many assault rifles to the biggest drug-running cartel in Mexico. Those guns have been used to kill hundreds of Mexican people, including many government officials, and Americans, including American law-enforcement officers. If the corrupt American media won't tell us what Obama and Holder did – destablizing a neighboring country as well as destablizing our own country – then I'm not going to worry about how a private citizen who hasn't been government for over a decade makes his money.

    November 15, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. ED FL

    Well Newt your big belly and bigger mouth has just made the 6 to 7 hour news and it refreshed the American public what a low life politician and thief you really are.You will be headlines now and your past is out for voters to see what a shady person you are and your personal life as a philanderer with no morals. I am sure your ditching a sick wife will be part of you personna frequently and deservedly so. You make Cain look like a SAINT.

    November 15, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Clwyd

    and you want us to believe you are the "Frugal" millionaire with the $1,000,000 line of credit at Tiffany's! Like the rest in your party you have lost touch with reality

    November 15, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. no1atall

    Man! You right wingers would vote for a Charles Manson/Richard Speck ticket if they ran against PRESIDENT Obama. "Yeah they're mass murderers, but that was a long time ago. They're different now." Sheesh.

    November 15, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  18. Sorensen

    Let him have his 5 minutes in the GOP sun. He will never get within a mile from the white house.
    He is totally ethically and mentally compromised. It is sad and pathetic.

    November 15, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. cakk

    84 ethic violations.....83 dropped. The only violation was a tax violation on a charitable organization which BTW the IRS later approved.
    First wife asked for the divorce months before she was in the hospital to have a tumor removed (it was benign) and she is very much alive.

    November 15, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Paul

    As a lobbyist in Europe, I can say that there is officially no such thing as lobbying. It's consulting, political strategy, advice, research, being a "historian". The word lobbying is never used, but that's exactly what it is. Newt thinks we're all dumber than he is, maybe he's mostly right.

    November 16, 2011 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. Joshua Ludd

    So, did he try to sell his books and dvds while defending himself against these charges? Or did he offer people fake awards if they would pay him for them?

    November 16, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. Cedar Rapids

    Wonder how long it will be before they try to claim Bloomberg News is a left wing leaning newspaper tying to smear Newt.

    November 16, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Larry L

    We have 325 million people in America. Why would anybody vote for a person with such a clear record of dishonest behavior and deep character flaws? Is he a smart guy? Sure. Prisons are full of smart people with dishonest core values. Republicans must not throw away their own values and standards just to find somebody who isn't President Obama. Take a look at Huntsman. He's rational and appears to be honest. The rest are flop-floppers, wackos, gropers, anarchists, or people so hell bent on destroying our government none of our most valued programs, like Social Security or Medicare, will be safe. Don't let the Tea Party destroy America – vote with your brain and not the one Fox News provides.

    November 16, 2011 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Harry Baxter

    Being a Lobbyist is the least of newt's problems. Being a philandering, unfaithful Husband, and beinf forced out of Congress by his contemporaries for shady financial dealings are much more important to me.

    November 16, 2011 09:43 am at 9:43 am |

    OK, we knew Cain was (and is) a lobbyist but Newt, didn't see that. So he served as a history consultant? Right, and for that he was paid 1.6 million – not bad. But he is still as pure as the driven sludge isn't he?

    November 16, 2011 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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