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. jann

    There she goes again about the money thing. Earlier today she said Newt was paying the TParty, it that's the case, where's my check??? She just throws these statements out like that without any facts, who is Newt paying or getting money from Michelle?? I don't even know what she means anymore. And why does she brag about herself like that, if you really are who you say you are and what you've done, we would see it. But she thinks if she repeats it enough we'll believe it?? Stop , it's annoying. Your first mistake was coming out swinging at Palin, not smart.

    December 16, 2011 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  2. John

    Michele Bachmann would talk bad about her own mother Is she think It would do any good. That all this woman does Is LIE and twist word around to make someone else to look bad.

    December 16, 2011 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  3. Dave

    That may be the only thing Michelle Bachmann has gotten right in her entire career.

    December 16, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Gingrich isn't a moderate. He is someone who likes conservative and has a pragmatic streak that shows up every once in a while. That explains the working with Clinton. "Teapublican" would do to remember that. We can't have a "our way or the highway" mentality. Romney on the other had has seemingly changed positions alot. I just wish it was that easy to nail him down on something.

    December 16, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  5. once upon a horse

    I just LOVE it when I hear a Republican tell Bachmann that she "needs to get her facts right". Heck Democrats have been saying that about her for years.

    December 16, 2011 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. WhereIsPalin

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

    I would have to disagree with this statement, also.

    December 16, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. PaulMATL

    Her accusations about Newt peddling influence are spot on. You make Barney Frank, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae the face of the finanical crisis, then we find out Newt was paid to influence GOP to keep it. No one sees a problem with that?

    December 16, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  8. Surfer Dude

    Bachmann is just JEALOUS!! She bought her way to first place in Iowa's Straw Poll. Now, after all of the debates, she has NO substance and can never win the party's nomination for President. She should just shut up and drop out respectfully and support the Newt.

    December 16, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Phil in KC

    Don't they all? That's why we need to get ALL the PACs and lobbyists out of Washington and severly curtail campaign contributions.

    December 16, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. kinglywarrior

    She never makes eye contact with anyone. Not to be trusted, as if you needed another reason...

    December 16, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. kayla

    let the games begin

    December 16, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. JRuss

    regardless.....Bachmann is a member of congress....a representative of the United States.......and last night she threatened war against the Iranian people. I believe that alone is reason enough to dismiss her from this race.

    December 16, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. dallas.alphonso

    I never thought I would ever say anything nice about Michele but I like her work ethic! she really wants to become president and is working her tail off to do so; Sarah Palin could learn a thing or for Ms Bachmann: bet the would never quit her job. Good for you Michele we don't agree on anything but I appreciate your efforts, go get em girl

    December 16, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Drod

    Actually that would be why I vote for her!!!!!

    December 16, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Zebulon Pi

    The look on her face reminds my of 'Peanut' from Jeff Dunham. They have about the same intelligence level, too...

    December 16, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |

    Hahahah all her efforts to look relevant are for naught. She's an extremist, a certified cuckoo for coco puffs, and that won't get her the GOP nod for Presidential nominee.

    December 16, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. SoSad

    C'mon all you tea baggers, support, Bachmann, she's number one. If she goes, then who's going to make us laugh? Right!

    December 16, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. BigdaddyUSA

    Hello Playboy, This is Michele. Is the February Centerfold still available? I think I'll have plenty of time on my hands.

    December 16, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. sadtosay

    She has proven time and time again she is willing to say anything regardless of whether or not it is factual. She said she will make gas $2 dollars, she said Obama was born in Kenya, she said some woman told her vacinations caused a disease in her children. She shouldn't even be holding a political office let alone be a contender for leading the nation.

    Also as a sane person I hate what the word conservative has become.

    December 16, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. stta

    JANN- I like your quote: 'Your first mistake was coming out swinging at Palin, not smart." That is funny because Palin and Bachmann are of the same mold. If you left them to debate all you would get are incorrect statements, false accusations, fear mongering, religous bias and no real productive answers if tea partiers would really think their answers through. They can talk up a storm and get people emotionally excited but they don't pass common sense. I still am dreaming the GOP can come up with a candidate that I can vote for. Gingrich isn't it either.

    December 16, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. AutumnskyD

    Gingrich morphs positions based on 'who's paying', Bachmann morphs positions bassed on "which voice is talking in her head".

    December 16, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. hank

    You know she is correct on this one.

    December 16, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. gino

    Read about Newt's bribery/arms dealer episode that was investigated by the FBI and dropped at 'dcbureau' on the Web.

    December 16, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. jim

    Yeah, Newt, you only deal with folks who's values you share, such as $1.8M from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the values that destroyed our economy. Got it. If I were a conservative- and I am not – I would examine all candidates records closely. Bachman and Santorum lack accomplishment, Gingrich and Romney have changed positions so often it is hard to know what they believe, Paul is just sort of wacky, and Perry is on pain medication. That leaves Huntsman and his dad's money. At least Huntsman represents core GOP values: profit over social welfare, corporate strength over morailty and capitulation to the miltary industiral complex. Huntsman is bright and consistent.

    December 16, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Sidewinder

    Sure Newt. They just GAVE you 1.6 mill because you are so good looking? If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, guess what? It's a duck.

    December 16, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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