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. davidw


    December 16, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Tom

    No doubt she's right about Newt. Still, we will hopefully hear the last of Bachmann after Iowa.

    December 16, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. PaulMATL

    So the hope is that Newt is the nominee and the democrats exploit Newt's lies. Yes, they ALL accept campaign contributions. The difference with Newt is he put that money in his pockets or into his businesses account. His lie that he was paid to advise Fannie Freddie is going to come back to haunt him.

    December 16, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. mtnmedic

    GOP candidates = clown fest.

    December 16, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. mj

    now that is the smartest and most truthful thing Bachmann has every said during the entire campaign.

    December 16, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. Cat

    Give it up, you mindless bimbo!!!!

    December 16, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. flopflipper

    Its a threat to our democracy that politicians receive million dollar paychecks from industry – whether they receive them while serving in office or shortly thereafter. How can we trust that our representatives are fighting for what is best for us when they have their hand out?

    December 16, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Newt's A Hoot

    I don't like to agree with "Jimmy Eyes" Bachmann on anything, but Newt is a real, long-time inside politics guy. Some of his many jobs have been to influence for money from lobbyists. He TOOK $$ from corporations to influence VOTES on the hill. If you have lobbying,why do you think they are bringing money to NEWT??? So he'll hang out with them and make good mentions in his best-selling books? Crap-ola, Newtsie. You are THE spinmeister.

    December 16, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Scott O' Canada

    She is right. If fact, I'm willing to wager $10,000.00, payable in the soon to be newly printed $3.00 biill with Newt's face on it that he will be the Republican challenger for the POTUS. She is just green with envy.

    December 16, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Big George in Big D

    @Larry in Houston – well, why don't you grab Ron Paul and stuff him back in Houston! I'm quite tired of the little pipsqueak. He's not electable and not man enough to realize it.

    December 16, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Jim

    This woman calls herself a Christian, yet everything out of her mouth is a blatant lie or a gross distortion. Isn't there something in the bible about "bearing false witness"? Is that just a suggestion? Her actions show that she actually worships the "money god" as her lord and savior. She might just have some grovelling to do someday. "But Jesus, I was just trying to make a buck.". I'm a Republican, those commandment thingies don't include us, do they? Oh well.

    December 16, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. james - St. Paul, MN

    Finally, after years of watching and waiting, Michele Bachmann says something that is incontrovertibly true. Unfortunately, I believe this is the only time we shall ever see such a thing--her honest and clear statements only come around because of some freak celestial cycles-–kind of like a full eclipse of the sun.......

    December 16, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Peggy

    Two points

    If you believe in God so strongly then why not trust him to choose the right candidate be it you or someone else?

    Each time in history, we are given the leader to allow the world to unfold as it should. Obama is the right leader for these times as another leader might have already initiated WW3.

    December 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Frank

    It would only take Bachmann this long to realize that Newt follows whoever is paying him. Everyone else has known that all along.

    December 16, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Now that Sarah Palin is out of the race, what would we do for comic relief if not for Michelle Bachmann?

    December 16, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. TPF

    I don't think she could pass a lie detectors test at all. OMG!

    December 16, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. William Lindsay McCall

    Well , I for one am convinced she is a prophet. Yes, she says things that are a mystery to all of us. One of these days we will figure out her seemingly ridiculous statements. I think she speaks in tongues. The words sound like english, but have a different meaning that what is normal. that's it !

    December 16, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. vep

    In America we'll do anything for money. So what?

    December 16, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    It's over Michelle. You're done. Newt too.

    December 16, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. George Bush II

    I can speak for myself and tell you , if you want to know who the politician is working for, follow the money. I personally liked the Saudis. They paid well.

    December 16, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    The whole GOP presidential field is a bunch of egocentric nut jobs. That's what's scaring the GOP establishment and their backers (Koch brothers, multi-national corporations wanting to destroy us from the inside out): they know it and can't do anything about it. All they can do is anything and everything they can to stop President Obama from helping our country, even as our citizens suffer.

    Only a fool would vote Republican. Not only are all their policies PROVEN FAILURES, they have shown us the last three+ years that they only care about their monied masters – and to heck with the rest of us and our country.

    December 16, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. sparknut

    This is not a surprise or a shock. In fact, it's true about all of the candidates running for President. OK, let's hear the denials start.... But deep down, you know it's true.

    December 16, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Laurie in Spokane

    I just LOVE it when the Republicans dis on each other. Not that democrats won't do it also, but the Republicans have a distinctive viciousness and callousness about it unmatched by anyone else.

    December 16, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Wes Scott

    Michele, PLEASE stay in the race! The GOP is not loonie enough without you, though it does a pretty good job, but you are the crowning glory to this bunch of funny farm escapees. Comedians owe their careers to you, and to deprive them would be to cut American jobs. By the way, how is your husband's boyfriend enjoying all this time away that you have been giving him?

    December 16, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. zimbot

    Democrats love having Bachmann in the race-she's providing US voters reason not to vote for ANY GOP candidate.

    December 16, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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