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. Emmy Skaddittle

    Don't you love retiring congress men taking high paying jobs and for what, if not for their influence in congress and if that is not a lobbyist then we need to change the definition

    November 16, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. bum

    Seriously, this country needs a Newt/Liz Cheney ticket for 2012. I can't see anyone not voting for them as a team. I'll sit back now and wait for your positive replies. RNC for G&C, I'm ordering my button today before they're sold out.

    The Bum

    November 16, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. firebird9999

    Yikes! The republicans are digging through the bottom of the barrel this time around. Newt? Cain? Perry? Romney? This would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic.

    November 16, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Robert - Atlanta

    Newt just ADVISED Freddie, gave them advice from 1999 to 2003 and was paid $1.5 to 1.8 million on how to be more …uh, uh… to get more funding from his former colleges in Congress, but that’s completely different from Lobbying…it’s historical advise or is that a hysterical flip-flop!

    November 16, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Dreamer96

    Newt says he did not lobby, just gave advice...Advice to steer votes in his direction..or the direction of a group he was paid by...That is lobbying Newt...Newt you are so good with words...

    November 16, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Buccakenji

    Making accusations without presenting any evidence of impropriety is a gross violation. The only reason this reporter could not be held libel is Gingrich is a public figure. Otherwise he would be a bunkmate of Bubba. And rightfully so.

    November 16, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. VistaPoint

    All of Newt's skeletons will start to resurface now that he is gaining at the polls. It is a good thing as it will remind folks who have short term memory, what kind of a man Newt is. He had become so untaouchable that even his own party distanced itself from him. Newt's gaining in the polls is not good for GOP, because it will also remind the public what kind of a government we had when Newt was up there and all the shams he and the party ran.

    November 16, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Busted

    I love how the republicans are trying to push forward the idea that banks are the true victims here. The gov'nent may'k us do it.

    November 16, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Jim Angone

    Gingrich is the biggest used car slesman among all the candidates. he would sell his own Mother and then decry others for accusing him of such deed.
    I canrt remember when the repblican party had so many losers among their candidates. Not one of them is capable of running this country or considerate of the middle class. All a bunch of clowns and Mr stiff romney. So far, I'm voting for Obama. No other chice makes sense. Obama has proven he understands foreign policy, the best military comander we have had in years and he is working diligently (lately) for the middle class. All the Republicans scare the daylights out of me. Gingrich is a big bag of wind. Selfish and dishonest.

    November 16, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. V in Chicago

    Sounds like Cane. Trying to school journalist. The problem is, Newt should know better. This guy has so much "crap" in his past, he will never make it to the White House. Besides being extrememly arrogant, his baggage dates back decades. How to you get yourself tossed from Congress and then actually expect to get the higher position as President.

    Poor Newt – he's got a big wake up coming. Our memories are better than he would like. . .

    November 16, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Church

    Thanks, Thomas, for reminding us that Newt chose Tom Delay as his "Whip".
    We are all awaiting the incarceration of Tom "The Hammer" Delay.
    Anyone can learn history, but it is how one sees history that matters.
    Newt is part of the old school of the "Might Makes Right" approach to the world.
    U.S. Imperialism is not practical anymore. We need thinkers, not reactionaries.

    November 16, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. bum

    Jim, You can be poor, middle class, or rich, unless you have an illness, the choice is yours. Even today, you can make more money than you're making now by accepting one of the many part time jobs out there that are not being accedpted by those on two years of unemployment conpensation. When I was a young man raising a family I had no problem with working two jobs and on weekends to better my way of life. It's there, all you have to do is be willing to put in the hours, the choice is yours just as it was mine. By the way, my children followed in my footsteps and are doing the same things that I did. I don't know when any of them worked less than 60 hours a week, and none of it at time and a half.


    November 16, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Byrd

    Newt and the Truth are on two parallel paths that have never met and never shall.

    November 16, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Middle America

    I like Newt

    November 16, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Jack

    I thought Newt hated Freddie Mac. How could he collect money from them and then be a critic?

    November 16, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. obandon

    So his ethics are the same as when he was thrown out of Congress in the past. We need someone in office who IS ethical and above reproach. We won't find that with Newt.

    November 16, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  17. Pam

    "Let me make one thing perfectly clear".... boy that takes a person back in time to another "honest" politician!
    LMFAO !!!!!!

    November 16, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Fair is Fair

    Hmmmm... Obama carried 97% od the D.C. vote in 2008... therefore, it stands to reason that there is a 97% chance that whomever discharged the gun was an Obama v
    Your logic has taken a serious dive in recent months fair.
    Your comments have been reeking of desperation and Faux talking points.
    You've lost your credibility.

    November 16, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Saboth

    I honestly don't care who is President. I'd elect Elizabeth Warren or Al Franken, as they actually seem to care about the American people. Everyone else in office has priorities of: Myself, my friends and families, my contributors, corporations and lobbyists, and the list goes on until about #73, the American people who elected me to office.

    November 16, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. It is sad

    The "new Newt" did not lobby... it was the "Old Newt" who lobbied. Jeez people learn your history!

    November 16, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Dave, Central Illinois

    Dominican mama 4 Obama said
    Your logic has taken a serious dive in recent months fair.
    Your comments have been reeking of desperation and Faux talking points.
    You've lost your credibility.

    Well, for starters, replace "Faux" with "MSNBC" and this perfectly describes you. Second, I find it amazing how often you and "sniffit" are allowed to post when the rest of us get censored.

    November 16, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Jake

    if he stays in the race, he's going to have so many more charges to answer to!

    November 16, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. streetdude66

    Its true Newt never lobbied, Bachman never made up lies about the other candidates, Perry isnt a racist and Cain never harassed anyone and is a genius at foreign policy. Neeeeeeeext puh-leeeeeze. Whatever

    November 16, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Leslie

    What a liar! People, are you really going to believe anything that comes out of his mouth? Look back at his record and you will see what I mean.

    November 16, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I honestly don't care who is President. I'd elect Elizabeth Warren or Al Franken, as they actually seem to care about the American people.
    Just as long as they believe in wealth redistribution and maintaining our ever growing welfare state, right? Do you honestly want to become Greece???

    November 16, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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