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.

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. Lindsey

    Newt's pomposity is the stuff legends are made of.

    November 16, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  2. Laurie

    I believe Newt is the perfect candidate for 2012. He represents his party very well and certainly better than Romney or Cain. He has the perfect blend of arrogance and ignorance, represents the family values, demonstrates real understanding of the rich and their needs. Finally, I think they have hit their stride!

    November 16, 2011 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  3. marinedad05

    And what exactly is a newt?

    November 16, 2011 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Lost in Texas FOREVER and EVER

    it really doesn't matter if he did this or not, with the sad state the GOP is in with their 2012ers he'll still get support. They'll overlook his past and jump on the Newt bandwagon because he's a conservaive alhough not a very honest one.

    November 16, 2011 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Jim

    Looks like the liberals are a little scared of Newt – they know he will out shine obama in debates.

    November 16, 2011 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    @jerry (who stated) "Hey you leftys who are bashing Gingrich... you are now turning away from Cain and focusing on Gingrich eh?"

    Well, your party DOES keep pushing the unelectable at us - though I'm not sure "bashing" is the correct phraseology –I'd term it more in the line of a "shaking with laughter" category. Applied equally to Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Cain, and Mitt Romney.

    November 16, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. RES

    The guy has No Ethics! He is incapable of them. No way a candidate for president is electable with three marriages. Remember his contract w/ America started the scorched earth division that is ruining our country. He only wants fame & fortune, not what is best for this nation.

    November 16, 2011 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Gino

    Did he use the $300,000 to help pay down the $500,000 credit line at Tiffany's (Jewelry for wife #3?) What a cheat and a crook this guy is.

    November 16, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. DDanny1

    The violations were dropped as a condition of his resignation of not only his speaker position, but his seat in Congress as well. He left because he knew he wouldn't have had a prayer.

    November 16, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Please don't get Newt all worked up and patriotic. We all know what happens when Newt gets all worked up and patriotic...if not ask the latest Mrs. Gingrich.

    November 16, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Peggy - TX

    RE : hmmm.... "the present day president who we still know little of ..."

    We know a greate deal about out Current President. Where have you been ... most likely as seen from from the rest of your comment ... you have been glued to Faux news. What an idiot you are. This is exactly why we can not let these idiots that belive the Republican lies pick our next President or leaders in Congress. Just read these comments of these blogs, the truly scary thing is that these comments are truly representative of just how stupid people are that vote Republican.

    November 16, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. News

    Get Him CNN.....You already have Romney's Religion in question as well as Cain's Sexual Prowess. Going after the GOP is what you guys are all about along with Media Matters, Huffington Post and MSNBC

    November 16, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  13. Paul C

    "Government-sponsored enterprises which includes the Transcontinental Railroad has a long history of being fairly successful."
    Interesting quote coming form a Republican candidate.

    November 16, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Look if 8 guys are bobbing along in the ocean, treading water and sharks come along and eat 7 of them leaving just the one guy, that doesn't make that one guy a better swimmer, or a better shark fighter or a better anything. He just got lucky.
    Newt, if he gets the nomination, could be that one guy.
    Last man bobbing, neck deep in water, hoping the sharks don't get him, or that he doesn't drown.

    November 16, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  15. bobby frank

    I think he is where he is because they are running out of idiots and now he is the top dog. We are hearing his record now which is not very impressive and quite disturbing as a matter of fact. I am going to stick with Obama who now comes across as a really great choice compared to these yahoo's.

    November 16, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  16. FLIndependent

    Wow, it's amazing what you desperate Repubs will sacrifice just to beat your enemy President Obama. What's really funny is that so many call Obama "Bush II" because he's given into the Repubs on so many things yet you still think he's a socialist who is determined to destroy our country. You all seem to forget that a vast MAJORITY of Americans voted for President Obama and his vision for our country but you just can't accept him because he wasn't your choice...well guess what folks – that's democracy! What needs to happen in 2012 is for the Dems to take over the House again and keep the Senate so the 2nd term Obama can finally make headway on where he wants our country to go in the 21st century!!

    November 16, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Two things to keep in mind:

    1. Just because you've studied history, doesn't mean anything beyond having a better chance of passing a history test.

    2. The "government" NEVER forced any mortgage broker to give loans to people who didn't qualify for them. The brokers broke the law because they were greedy – PERIOD.

    And because of that greed, and the subsequent greed of the bankers who bundled and sold these worthless mortgages, the world economy tanked.

    November 16, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  18. sortakinda

    Excuse me, Mr. Gingrich, but I do believe your pants are on fire. And I don't believe ANYTHING that comes out of your mouth.

    November 16, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Whether this charge is true or not, Gingrich is well known as chronic liar from his days in congress. This should come as no surprise to the small percentage of Americans who dig for information on what goes on in Washington. Sadly, too many people watch Fox Phoney News because their actors, posing as news people are entertaining, but far from factual.

    November 16, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. ja

    the corruption is head high on from local level to the national level lawmakers should not be allowed insider trading or lobby jobs, they wear lapel crosses and flags under gross lies

    November 16, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. hypatia

    Newtie, to quote one of your buddies, 'You Lie'.

    November 16, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  22. Rick C

    It seems to me that the Press is trying to destroy every Republican candidate except the one they think they can beat. The Press like with McCain will be Romenys friend intil he wins the nomination and then they will get him to save the POTUS. There is nothing to see here so move along.

    November 16, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Andrew Botwin Jr.

    Surprise surprise! The Speaker of the House who faced over 70 ethics violations voted upon by his own party has been accused of violating ethics. What a pathetic bunch of GOP candidates.

    November 16, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. daddy sez

    newtie don't lie so good - hired for republican outreach. hired to style freddy's message so that it would be acceptable to the "free market" right. hired to be a lobbyist.

    and $1.6 million for one line of advice about freddy's mission? man, i gotta get a gig like that.

    (oops, sorry media talking heads, i didn't say the obligatory "he sooooooooooo smart" when i mentioned dude's name)

    November 16, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. gino

    So, the Republicants have gotten it down to Cain, Able and Gingrich. The first is a comedian, the second isn't sure, and Newt's despicable. Great choices here...

    November 16, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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