Gingrich holds call with Iowans to address attacks
December 17th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Gingrich holds call with Iowans to address attacks

New York, New York (CNN) – Newt Gingrich vowed to hold regularly a “Newt conference call” with Iowans to directly address negative attacks on his record.

“We just decided that we would from now to the caucus on a regular basis, make available to anyone in Iowa who wants to ask a question so that we can tell the truth, and we can systematically allow you to understand the facts rather than the various political attacks and the political charges,” Gingrich said in his first tele-town hall on Saturday.

The current frontrunner addressed his ties to Freddie Mac, his anti-abortion voting record, and charges that he is not a true conservative.

“I am clearly a very solid conservative, and I am a conservative who can actually work in a bipartisan way to get conservative principles enacted into law, not just speak about them but get them into law,” he said.

Fighting back lobbyist claims, Gingrich defended the $1.6 million he received in consulting fees from the federally-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

“We had a company. The company had three different offices. We were paid annually for six years so the numbers you see are six years of work. Most of that money went to pay for overhead, for staff, for other things that didn’t go directly to me. It went to the company, which provided consulting advice,” Gingrich said.

“I have never once advocated that people do something for Fannie or Freddie. I do not in any way work on influence per se,” the former House speaker said. “I actually suggested they needed more regulations, and that’s actually in writing on their website so you can go look at it yourself.”

Gingrich also explained his pro-life record after it was questioned by other White House hopefuls and anti-abortion groups.

He reiterated what he said at Thursday night’s debate in Sioux City: “I have a 98.6 percent career voting record with a national right to life organization. The only vote we disagreed on was the first welfare reform bill, which didn’t mention abortion. They had this indirect theory that if you made single mothers go to work that somehow it might lead to more abortions. Nobody else agreed with them.”

“Otherwise I have a hundred percent voting record with them over a 20 year period. Twice we passed partial birth abortion bans when I was speaker. Both times President Clinton vetoed it. So to suggest in any way that I was at all in favor of partial birth abortion is just frankly a falsehood.”

Gingrich said he is inclined to hold a conference call with Iowans “every couple of days” leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses to address attacks on his record. Earlier this week the presidential candidate called on his supporters and staff to “avoid initiating attacks” on his opponents, but he “reserved the right to respond when my record has been distorted."

On Saturday’s conference call, he said, “I feel badly about having to have this kind of a phone call just to dispel negative things.”

Also see:

Gingrich 'editing' his words as campaign acknowledges concern

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

Perry moving staff to Iowa

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. GOP ~ "tax the middle class, blame the poor"

    The GOP tele-tubby has a tele-call? How cute!
    Now everyone can hear why the Gingeritch should be the Grand Lizard of the Party of hate, fear, & greed.
    "We must stomp out that hope thing"

    December 17, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. BeverlyNC

    Guess Gingrich will be awfuly busy – since his corruption record is very long and his personal ethics problems still go on to add to that list too. If Gingrich cannot get along with his own Party, how can he lead our country with very sensitive situations in foreign policy? We need a real leader and he is already in the WH doing an incredible job, especially on foreign policy.

    December 17, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Doug

    Telling the truth is a hate crime according to each and every Democrat in America. Newt should remember this when he is campaigning to the blue parts of America.

    Then again, why would he go there, there are very few people in the blue areas that have morals, values, and don't have a total disregard for human life, therefore their is no way that they would ever vote for the party of fairness and compassion, they will forever vote lib.

    December 17, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Marc Overbeck

    If Gingrich actually said "I have never once ABDICATED [sic] that people do something for Fannie or Freddie..." then that would lend some credence to Bachmann's attacks. But I strongly suspect he said ADVOCATED. CNN, edit your content better! We all depend on you for our reliable news source!

    December 17, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Want to see an increase in taxes on the wealthy? Vote for a republican.

    When we go to war with Iran EVERYONE WILL BE TAXED TO THE HILT. And all of the republicans except Ron Paul will "Go it Alone" with no help from other countries.

    December 17, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It has to be hard for Newt to have $275,000 for Iowa, while the Kochs and Rove have made over $3 million available to help Mittens.

    December 17, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Newt , “I have never once advocated that people do something for Fannie or Freddie. I do not in any way work on influence per se,” the former House speaker said. “I actually suggested they needed more regulations, and that’s actually in writing on their website so you can go look at it yourself.”

    Then why not release all emails and records ? Show the American tax payer the value of there dollar !

    December 17, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    You think he's a good liar on TV? Wait 'til you hear him over the phone –as he sips his hot toddy and eyes Calista's diamonds.

    December 17, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    ►"...“I am clearly a very solid conservative, and I am a conservative who can actually work in a bipartisan way to get conservative principles enacted into law..."◄

    Oops, there is where ginGRINCH FAILS!!! This country is NOT based on "conservative principles" ONLY; this is the problem with every candidate on the stage and the reason why they will be beaten in 2012!!!

    Obama 2012 because he is the ONLY President at this time that WILL work in a "bipartisan" way!!!

    December 17, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. ian

    Newt is trash.. If that's what a conservative is, I do not want to be one.

    December 17, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  11. a in austin

    This man has so much negative baggage – why he continues to harp on keeping it positive. You need to be exposed. Voters need to know the truth and be reminded about you and your pompous self.

    December 17, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Matt

    Is he ever going to address the 1,060,750 fake twitter followers he paid a company to create. Does his flexibility with the truth end domestically or does he really think he can continue to lie and deceive the American people? I would love to hear how he defends his actions. Why is it that only the Iowans get to hear these responses?

    December 17, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Dixie AZ

    I hope the press will be listening.

    December 17, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |

    The GOBP wingnut/teabagger trainwreck implosion continues full speed ahead.

    December 17, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. ARTRaveler

    Maybe, if Newt would start telling the truth. A "historian" for the dollars he was paid. Historians are generally one of the lower paid occupations. That is why the write books but Newt couldn't even do that honestly. I especially l;ike his claim that the entire SCOTUS was wrong on Brown vs Board of Education. They were so damn sure they each signed the decision. This man need to take his jewels and wife and go back into Rethuglican obscurity. He alone is responsible for the start of the disagreements in Congress and hatred that ended up making something like the KKK, the Tea Party, into something with power. Just go away before we all decide to show you publically that you aren't as smart as you think you are.

    December 17, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. carly

    Gingrich's 15 minutes of fame (at least as front runner) are almost up.

    December 17, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Valerie from Raleigh

    Newt Gingrich, the leading candidate for President from the Republican Party - you know, the Party of Family Values. Ya gotta love the Republicans!

    December 17, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. cisco4

    Do you get a corn and soy bean check..... Gingrich every year of 50 thousand or more like a lot of Iowa farmers? Huh?

    December 17, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Namejkane

    I thought you teapublican clowns didn't want more regulations, I think grichrich just said he wanted more regulations of a gov agency, da!!!!

    December 17, 2011 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. Scott

    How dare he. How dare he pretend to graciously avoid the politics of attacks. This venomous, demonizing, spiteful, bomb-throwing, bully who gave us the modern era of angry, locker-room politics is the last person on earth to complain about attacks. As much as I'd like to see him face Obama, it will also be poetic justice if the kind of politics he created sinks his presidential ambitions. Drink in the venom deeply, you hypocrite. You lived by the sword, and forced us all to. Now politically die by it.

    December 17, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Ken

    Watch him. if his mouth moves he's lying.

    December 17, 2011 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. d

    He is still a creep...the spinmaster

    December 17, 2011 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  23. it is sad

    So now it wasn't him consulting,, it was his company consulting? So his consulting company looked at Fannie and Freddie and said... pay our "company" 1.6million and our "company will suggest to other republicans they support our consulting "company advice. This is exactly why he was fined for ethics violations.. he always has an outlet to deflect bad things he does away from him personally. The guy is a historian, and he knows if you tell a lie enough times, and with emotion, people will start to believe it. I won't !!!

    December 18, 2011 01:51 am at 1:51 am |