Bachmann camp: Gingrich morphs positions based on 'who's paying'
December 16th, 2011
03:44 AM ET
11 years ago

Bachmann camp: Gingrich morphs positions based on 'who's paying'

Sioux City, Iowa (CNN) – As Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann attempts to lump together rivals Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as less than conservative, her campaign went a step further late Thursday, suggesting Gingrich has changed positions based on who was paying him.

Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian and spokeswoman Alice Stewart spoke with reporters in the "spin room" following a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, co-sponsored by the Iowa Republican Party and Fox News. It was the last GOP debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

"I think the issue with Newt Gingrich is that Romney is a moderate. Newt Gingrich is portraying himself as a conservative even though he is a moderate," Nahigian said. "I think that's what gets [Bachmann] really going - people who morph into different things, on different years, according to who's paying them and who's not paying them."

"That's what she's trying to show: the difference between being a strong conservative and being a flying around conservative," he said.

Stewart reiterated Bachmann's insistence that she is the only "consistent conservative" in the GOP race.

"They're both one and the same," Stewart said of Gingrich and Romney. "When you're talking about all these issues that we've outlined when it comes to the (health care) individual mandate, they are the father and grandfather of the individual mandate. When it comes to immigration and the TARP and the bailout and several issues – they're one and the same."

In the debate, Bachmann repeated her claim that Gingrich lobbied for government-backed mortgage group Freddie Mac, saying Gingrich "was taking $1.6 million to influence senior Republicans."

As he's previously maintained, Gingrich said he "never lobbied under any circumstance."

"I want to state unequivocally, for every person watching tonight,” the former House speaker added. “I have never once changed my positions because of any kind of payment."

"The truth is I was a national figure who was doing just fine, doing a whole variety of things, including writing best-selling books, making speeches. And the fact is I only chose to work with people whose values I shared and having people have a chance to buy a house is a value I believe still is important in America."

– Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @ShanTravisCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Michele Bachmann • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Pete/Ark

    ...even someone dumb as a box of rocks understands Newt...but if she just now figured it out,well...what's the term for somebody DUMBER than a box of rocks ?

    December 16, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Terry

    The Democrats have asked IBM to loan them "Watson" just to keep all of the scoops the Republican Candidates are dumping on each other. Rumor has it that we will see 30 second ads, a dozen times each hour, covering whomever gets the nomination, from June to November. There is even talk that Herman Cain may run as an independent. We need three or four candidates in the race, just to make the election season appear to be reality television.

    December 16, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Colgate

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac CEO's were charged by the SEC today with securities fraud...How long 'til the money trail leads to their mentor's door? I'm talking about Newt ($1.6 million historian) Bling-Rich...

    December 16, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  4. Ed 1

    You don't have a chance in winning so stop while you are behind.

    You can't beat Obama period.

    December 16, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Colgate

    That's Newt–$1.6 million "historian" with a half-million dollar credit line at Tiffany's–Bling-Rich

    December 16, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Ol' Yeller

    Newt's next affair may be with Bachmann. Makes sense, because he loves them crazy eyed bimbos. She would certainly jump at the chance (tell her followers God said it was all right) which would allow her husband to come out of the closet and finally find real love with perhaps... Lyndsay Graham or maybe Santorum (both obviously closeted). I know this sounds like a plot from a Soap Opera, but with this bunch of nutjobs anything is possible. Right?

    December 16, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |

    Gingrich, like Perry, wears a "for sale" sign around his neck.

    December 16, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. RayC

    When did "Moderate" become a bad thing? I wish we had more "Moderate" in DC and less polarized gridlock, something might actually get done for us – the moderate majority.

    December 16, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. OrangeW3dge

    Why would we want a "Conservative" President when the majority of Americans are right in the Middle. I think the top candidates already know that and that's why they are at the top. If you want to get elected, you have to go with the majority, not with the fringe radicals. And if the Republicans want to "stay in power" they will have to get on the bandwagon.

    December 16, 2011 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Pat in IL

    Being the biggest, most consistent conservative just means that you're the battiest.

    December 16, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. GonzoinHouston

    Newt never "lobbied" for Freddie and Fannie. He just sort of talked with all his old conservative buddies and the deep-pockets donors and in the course of the completely innocent conversation, maybe Freddie and Fannie just happened to come up. And he just sort of mentioned in passing that despite railing against both of them while Speaker, that they have really cleaned up their act, and now they're Good and True Conservatives. And if the conversation just happened to include politics, that he could give them a lot of good reasons why they really shouldn't oppose Freddie and Fannie like he used to. But he did NOT lobby anyone. He may have told a lot of powerful conservatives that Freddie and Fannie were now the Good Guys, and yeah, maybe they did pay him a couple mil, but he did NOT lobby anyone.

    And if you believe that I've got some surplus Iraqi nukes I'll sell you cheap!

    December 16, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. normajean @ verizon ,com

    GO back and read just what has happened to our great country since George Bush took a financial surplus from the previous admiinistration ,and,while putting us into two wars,, succeeded in turning the surplus into a major deficit which the Democrats inherited and while getting nothing but destruction from the Republicans. have been fighting .to keep the lower and middle classes from dissappearing into the sunset.......It's enough to make you sit down on the curb and cry!!!!!!

    December 16, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. Jason

    From what I can tell, Bachman is a little out there. I don't believe that Newt was lobying for Fanny or Freddie. If he had been, then the liberal media would have picked up on it and it would be all over the place. Being paid as a consultant is exactly that. I don't for a second believe Bachman knows what Newt did but is trying to create a smoking guy that does not exist. If Bachman had any substance should would put it out there.

    December 16, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. gar

    I like Michelle Bachmann. I don't agree with anything she says. If you looked at her birth certificate it would show place of birth as Mars, but she's entertaining. Gingrich is a worthless piece of garbage.

    December 16, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  15. kramses86k

    although I don't like Bachman. I'm glad she has exposed Newt. He makes his decisions based on who is the highest bidder!

    December 16, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  16. gg

    she,s right this guys god is money FOR SALE HIGHEST BIDDER

    December 16, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Vet4RonPaul

    Chicken-Hawk-In-Chief – new name for neocon cowards like Gingrich, Romney and Obama. I served 4 years and I'm pro-peace; how do people that have never served have the gall to foment unjust wars?

    December 16, 2011 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  18. Lenny Ladner

    You may as well put ALL the candidates on one side (left) of the line and Dr. Paul on the other.

    If you want real change look at your member of Congress. Did he vote for more government??? That is the question.
    For almost 80 years we have been given more and more government programs as a solution to our problems. Well the bill is soon to come do.
    Do you want more or less government????

    At least Dr. Paul realizes that more government isn't the answer.
    What do the others think? Maybe each one feels that they would be a better dictator than the other stooge.

    December 20, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. akita96th

    The republicans are doing a good job of bashing their own candidates...I am enjoying the show...Bachmans strategy is to keep bashing Obama and spewing tea party rhetoric and hate and showing how inept she really cant love the American people as she says she does and then hate Muslims and gays because we have plenty of both in this country...I'm not gay but I am a live and let live guy I mind my own business and don't worry about others business..I don't want a president whose only agenda is religious ideology and picking on people who are doing her no harm and spewing hate and scare tactics as a platform for office..I aint no Newt fan but he is a far better choice than she is at least he is not preaching war and hate he is intelligent and comes across good in debates sure he likes money and corporations and had a fling or two over the years so did Pres Clinton and the dems still love him. Romney just comes across as too desperate he has a wild eyed crazy man look and will say anything to be president and I don't really know what his agenda is other than being president ..he has flopped on everything he has ever said so who knows what this crazy man really wants to do but I am sure it will not benefit working Americans or senior citizens..Ron Paul is a believable man and has the appearance of being sincere but he doesn't have the numbers to win..Perry is just a GOP side show he had his chance and showed how stupid he really is..says a lot about Texas electing that idiot all these years for governor (political corruption at its best) but that's their business they can keep him he wont be a president......all in all the GOP represents more of the upper class than it does the working man they always side with the big dogs and stick it to us...just look at the economy it was in a shambles long before Obama came in..and I am not patting him on the back either..but you cant blame it all on him even thou he did vote give them all that was strictly wall street and big Banks and they had all the republicans and some democrats in their pockets you can tell by the ones who voted to give them trillions of our tax dollars so they would not lose their pensions and now we don't have enough to pay teachers ...and now when they try to pass new regulations to curb those same excesses the GOP still sides with them and votes I don't trust the the election will boil down to the lesser of two evils...and that's still a fine line....but unfortunately most voters vote because of religious convictions or they follow political dogma and don't believe in truth no matter how bad it is..but this is America and everyone still has that power of vote so everyone needs to man up and go to the polls on election day and vote your belief right or wrong..if you don't vote you don't have a right to complain...

    December 26, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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