Gingrich challenges Romney to a bet
December 12th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich challenges Romney to a bet

Londonderry, New Hampshire (CNN) – Newt Gingrich responded to a call Monday by GOP rival Mitt Romney to return the money he received from mortgage giant Freddie Mac by issuing his own challenge.

"If Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him," Gingrich told reporters after a town hall, referring to the company Romney ran. "And I'll bet you 10 dollars, not 10 thousand that he won't take the offer."

During an interview Monday, Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, was critical of the seven-figure sum Gingrich received from Freddie Mac, saying it was another example of his deep ties to Washington.

In response, Gingrich made light of Romney's high-dollar bet proposal at Saturday's debate. Romney accused fellow candidate Rick Perry of misquoting his writings on health care and offered Perry $10,000 that he was right.

Gingrich, the former House speaker, said he was "startled" by the proposal.

"I know Rick Perry pretty well. I can't imagine he can cover that, I mean he's been a public servant all his career," Gingrich said.

- CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Leroy

    Looking forward to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 and a new Democrat-controlled House!

    December 12, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Every time Gingrich thinks he's won an argument, his head swells a little more. The explosion will come in the form of total destruction for the republican party for another forty years. Mark my word. It will be even worse than the provocative things he said about Israel/Palestine. Diplomacy is not his strong suite.

    December 12, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. tykl

    Newt's comment is lousy. If that is what he understands of PE firms, then he has no business running the economy. PE firms buy companies that are failing and then they lay off a bunch a people just like happens when companies need to lay off people in a recession in order to keep the doors open. If anybody argues with that, I will buy them a calculator.
    Second, if he is comparing his lobbying to what PE firms do for the economy, it is another example of why he shouldn't run the economy. The product of PE firms are countless companies that provide jobs, benefits, etc (Staples, Sports Authority, etc, etc, etc) and the product of Newt's lobbying is $1.6M of taxpayer dollars in his pocket and a $500k bill at Tiffany and Co's. There is no comparison so his intent to try and compare the two is laughable.

    December 12, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Peg - Az

    I think Newt Gingrich's idea to eliminate the capital gains tax is simply a giveaway to the wealthy. The idea that this will significantly impact capital investments in businesses in any way is plainly false. The reason many of the wealthiest Americans pay lower taxes than most Americans is due to the fact that much of their income is from investments, such as stocks, and because the capital gains rate is already much too low

    Less than one-third of reported capital gains are the result of appreciation of corporate equity, and of this, only a small fraction of these gains are related to venture capital investments. In addition, only about 10 percent of the investors in organized venture capital partnerships are individuals, and fewer than half of these venture investors face individual capital gains tax liability on their gains from venture investment. In addition, over the years, it is the funds committed by untaxed investors that have expanded the most.

    A significant fraction of the funds supplied to venture firms should therefore be unaffected by the individual capital gains tax. So, in a nutshell, the impact of the capital gains tax on capital investment is very small. We need to raise the rate and restore some equity to our tax system and generate more revenue, not provide giveaways to the wealthy.

    December 12, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I don't know what Newt or Mitt has done to make things worse or better for the economy but I bet it isn't in the the Obama Adminstration is doing. In the final decision Newt And Mitt may be the Republician Ticket. By that time we will see if Employment gets better or not. So all you "Experts" will have a real decision to make. Re-Elect Obama and most likely see unemployment go up and more people on Food Stamps or Vote someone else into Office and look for things to get bettter. The Conservatives think you can do it yourself. Can yiou???

    December 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. pete4808

    One of three things is going to happen:
    1. Ron Paul doesn't get the nomination and runs as a third party
    candidate: The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll suggests Ron Paul would
    win 18 percent as a third-party candidate running against Obama and
    Romney. Obama wins.
    2. Ron Paul drops out: fervent and stubborn Ron Paul supporters stay
    home or write him in. Obama wins.
    3. Ron Paul gets the GOP nomination: Ron Paul gets the following
    voters: (a. 2008 Obama voters who thought they were going to get
    'Change', (b. 2008 Obama voters who voted to end the wars, (c. the VAST
    majority of the Independent vote, (d. the entire GOP voting block who
    dislikes Obama enough to vote for Ron Paul instead. (e. Ron Paul
    supporters coming out to vote in DROVES. Ron Paul Wins.

    December 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Indy

    I am starting to like Newts comebacks, he puts these Republicans in their place and rightfully so. He will never get the Whitehouse but he is fun to watch as he takes Romneys six year run to task.I would love to see Pastor Rick get into an arguement with Newt and see Perry get so flustered that he pees his pants

    December 12, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. TM

    While I like Gingrich calling out Willard on his time at Bain, Newt is the LAST person who should be crying about the "poverty" endured by elected officials. I'm willing to bet ANY amount of money that he REGULARLY availed himself of the private jets and other monetary "thank yous" from donors and lobbyists while he was in office. He had to have gotten that taste for Tiffany's somewhere.

    December 12, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. CoJo

    how many of you want to relive the financial meltdown again? How many of you want to continue to watch the CEOs pull 100's millions in salaries/bonuses while you pull potatoes (even if you have a job). Remember, the republicans setup the business environment that allowed all of that to happen. They while they got rich, the middle class lost homes and jobs. How many of you REALLY want to watch AIG, Goldman Sacs, CI, (another lehman), Enron, Tyco do it to you gain? Don't think it will happen? Have you heard even ONE republican explain how they would keep that from happening? Even one???

    December 12, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. zzzk

    It is sad that Dems are hoping that Newt will win GOP nomination. No matter who is the GOP nominee, it has greater chance to be elected than Obama. Do you want a nut case in the White House for 4 years, just 'cause it increases Obama's chances of re-election. If Dems (and Obama Camp) are patriots or want responsible president, they should have stayed out of it, and not run adds against Mitt. And I believe you will get what you wish for : Newt in the White House with GOP congress/senate that has their act together; compared to Obama and dis-organized Dem caucus, at least people know where Newt and Tea-Party stands. That is some showman ship of leadership the Dems and Obama are missing. Wishful thinking will end in disaster for all for us. 12 years ago: remember the days Gore camp considered GW a joke... (or "crazy" Cheney as VP) .

    December 12, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. JT

    It one thing for the Tea Party to screw up an election in Deleware (which basically cost the G.O.P. the senate), but to screw up the general when its theirs for the taking, shows a new level of stupidity. This is 1996 all over again.

    December 12, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Dave

    What Romney did with Bain capital was pick off mismanaged, ineffecient and bloated companies. He cut the fat (yes that includes people, sorry but it's true) and turned the companies around or sold them or whatever. And yes he got paid well to do so. Don't blame him though, blame the companies for running themselves into the ground and making themselves a target for Bain and company. What we need right now is someone who can see the fat in our government and isn't afraid to trim it. Romney has exactly that experience. It will not be painless but we have dug ourselves a deeeeep hole in this country and it will require some acute pain to get out of it.

    December 12, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. RN

    Newt loves to tell everyone he is an historian. The problem is that he rewrites history so much.
    The money he got from Freddie Mac was for a history lesson he tells us. He spoke to his friends in congress and "educated" them. It is – he insists- not lobbying.
    I do not like Romney – but Newt makes my skin crawl.
    What is this alternate reality he lives in?

    December 12, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. drod3

    How funny that repugs forget the damage they caused pushing this country close to another great depression. The American people don't forget and will not go back to the republican bush experiment that failed miserably.

    Obama 2012

    December 12, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. drod3

    It's true, no matter who the Republican nominee is. Its doesn't matter. They're all the same and will loose.

    December 12, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. drod3

    Ron Paul and Santorum seem to be the only sane candidates but the media hogging crazies (Grinch, Romey, Ricky) drown out everybody else. It's a shame.

    December 12, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. alvinalvin

    Come on Newt, a $100,000 credit line at Tiffany's for your third wife and all you are willing to bet is 10 bucks! Surely you have saved some of the 1.6 million you made off Freddie Mac to use for situations like these.

    December 12, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Duktig1

    Ginrich is a master sophist. If you listen carefully, you'll realize that he mixes a few facts and a lot of bluster to make his arguments. No one calls what Romney did unethical. The LA Times reported last week that Romney created close to 96,000 jobs through Staples, Dominos Pizza, and a steel company that was financed by Bain. In the same article they indicate that two corporations financed by Bain went out of business costing a total of 2,700 jobs. This means that while Romney's company wasn't able to save all the companies in its portfolio, it generated many more jobs (40x) and wealth than it lost. So, maybe Romney ought to take the bet based on the Net Gain in both jobs and income. On the other hand, Gingrich was paid $1.6M to influence individuals to keep the Freddie/Fannie train running which cost Billions and hurt millions. He is a master "deflector" of criticism which if you do not pay close attention, you will miss. Take for example his comments in the Debate Saturday where he tried to sound convincing by using the old line "I met Netanyahu in 1984". This was meant to make him sound superior. Romney, on the other hand, didn't take the bait and instead said he had worked with Netanyahu for many years while they worked for the same company.

    The scary part about Gingrich is that most do not pay close attention to what he says and are therefore susceptible to his mistatements.

    December 12, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
1 2