Davenport, Iowa (CNN) - Newt Gingrich explained Monday his share of the six-year $1.6 million Freddie Mac payout amounted to "about $35,000 a year," a drop in the bucket compared to the amount he would earn from one speech.
"Freddie Mac hired Gingrich Group, which is a firm which had offices in three cities," Gingrich said at a campaign stop in Davenport. "Of the total contract, it was a six-year period contract, of the total amount that we keep talking about I probably got about $35,000 a year. Now that is less than I was making per speech."
This is the first time the former House speaker and GOP presidential candidate shared how much he personally earned from Freddie Mac, which would have amounted to $210,000 over the six-year period, or roughly 13% of the total $1.6 million sum.
After getting pounded for weeks by his opponents, Gingrich claimed his mistake was in his messaging and not mounting a stronger defense at the outset.
"But what we should have done, immediately after the first time this came up is we should have stopped, pulled together everything, and I should have had a much more coherent answer so I want to be clear about that," Gingrich said. "And I hope starting today we can get clear of this, and frankly I hope my friends will take down the ads that are fundamentally inaccurate."
Gingrich tried again over the weekend to downplay the consulting fees with the federally backed mortgage giant, explaining that most of the money went to overhead and staff at his company.
With just weeks before the Iowa caucuses Gingrich said he believes all the negative attacks are to blame for his slip in the polls.
"Watch TV here for two days. You've had all sorts of people and all sorts of these super PACs who have consistently been running negative ads,” he said. “Well you get enough negative ads before you start answering them, your numbers go down for a while. “
The former speaker, who has vowed to continue to run a positive campaign, is going to hold "Newt conference calls" with Iowans every few days to rebut attacks leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses.
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Boy, talk about Romney being out of touch with his offer of a $10,000 bet? Glad to know 35 grand is a drop in the bucket for the Newtster. Nice to be a rich lobbyist, I guess.
Obviously he's lying. Do the math!
I'll bet within 2 days we hear a further explanation and discover he made much more than 35k. But somehow he;'ll explain that it really was 35k. And the Tea Party peeps will believe it.
So he worked on behalf of Freddie/Fannie for 45 years?
$35,000 a year is the median income for a family in a lot of middle class areas. Still not peanuts.
Gingrich explains how much he pocketed from Freddie Mac .
Was that before he was born again Christian or became Catholic .
The next question would be "why do you need over $35,000 for a speech"
Gingrich: "of the total amount that we keep talking about I probably got about $35,000 a year."
So he took money for being a lobbyist. Glad we cleared that up. Gingrich = corrupt.
Who is he trying to kid?
It opens more questions. Can we see the contract, the time records, the invoices? Can Newt explain the bidding process for his contract? Give all the real details Newt and have it done with.
I guess that he really doesn't understand that the amount of money he made isn't the point. The problem is that while his right side is blaming them for this and that, his left side is stuffing money into his pockets while he lobbies lawmakers on behalf of them. He is basically corrupt to his core.
His lips are moving. Just look at his past behavior and you will see his future behavior.
We're headed south and only one canidate offers a major change in direction. Mostly everything our country does is wrong and most of them are only offering minor changes. For me Ron Paul is the only guy suggesting that we mind our own business and worry about ourselves. Stop telling other countries how to act. I see little hope for us.
Blaming your drop in popularity on "negative attacks" is like saying "these jeans make my butt look big." No, Newt, it's your big butt that does that, not the jeans. Romney 2012!
So his company was part of the mismanagement at Freddie Mac? And now he wants to be in charge of the entire country?
I wish I had that $35,000.00 "Drop in the bucket."
Really Newt, Really? That is what you are going to go with? It's only $35 grand. Well let me tell you mister..........that "small sum" represents $16.82 an hour for a 40 hour work week. That is 2.3 times the minimum wage that you and your cronies always complain about having to raise.
That $35,000.00 he so casually blows off as if it is "chump change", is a lot more than many very hard working American families make each year. He is still out of touch with the people he claims he wants to lead as President of the U.S..