Gingrich explains how much he pocketed from Freddie Mac
December 19th, 2011
08:15 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich explains how much he pocketed from Freddie Mac

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.

Also see:

Bachmann pauses in Iowa tour to talk 'myth' of Kinsey Report

Paul claims Bachmann 'hates' Muslims

S.C. governor rallies crowd for Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. timz

    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.

    December 19, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  2. Pat

    Obviously he's lying. Do the math!

    December 19, 2011 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. LynnTTT

    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.

    December 19, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. twisted words

    So he worked on behalf of Freddie/Fannie for 45 years?

    December 19, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Steve

    $35,000 a year is the median income for a family in a lot of middle class areas. Still not peanuts.

    December 19, 2011 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Gingrich explains how much he pocketed from Freddie Mac .

    Was that before he was born again Christian or became Catholic .

    December 19, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    The next question would be "why do you need over $35,000 for a speech"

    December 19, 2011 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  8. skarphace

    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.

    December 19, 2011 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. politics as usual

    Who is he trying to kid?

    December 19, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. Lowell Landowski

    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.

    December 19, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  11. steven harnack

    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.

    December 19, 2011 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  12. jersey3038

    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.

    December 19, 2011 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  13. Amelia

    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!

    December 20, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  14. Aaron

    So his company was part of the mismanagement at Freddie Mac? And now he wants to be in charge of the entire country?

    I see...

    December 20, 2011 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  15. Marcus

    I wish I had that $35,000.00 "Drop in the bucket."

    December 20, 2011 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  16. Charlie in Maine

    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.

    December 20, 2011 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  17. azmary

    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..

    December 20, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |