Questions persist over the more than $1.6 million in payments Newt Gingrich was involved with in regard to government-sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Republicans against Newt Gingrich for the GOP presidential nomination are running ads against him that seem to be helping their cause in that his poll numbers are softening. The ads criticize Mr. Newt for being an advisor to Freddie Mac (influence peddling) and then accepting money, which helped make for a deep recession in 2008-2009.
In an effort to “set the record straight” against “wildly inaccurate” accusations, he defends that he did not personally receive any of the money and that all of it went to overhead for his firm.Gingrich had been working for Habitat for Humanity and later became an advisor for Freddie Mac. He said he wanted to help poor people get homes; but while he claims noble motives, critics writing at the “Wall Street Journal” claim his actions were “for his own political ends.”
“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 and our advice included how do you help poor people earn the right to be in a house and to be a homeowner.
I had spent years working with Habitat for Humanity. I believe deeply in trying to help people have the right to have a home. I think it’s a good part of being an American to own property, and I’ve been very much in favor of property ownership which is also why I’m for the abolition of the death tax so that family farms aren’t forced to be sold because you can’t afford to pay the federal taxes when the parents die.
In that setting, I also want to say I have never once advocated that people do something for Fannie or Freddie. I do not in any way work on influence, per se. I’m a public figure. I make public speeches.
Everybody can go look at what I’ve said in public. I actually suggested they needed more regulations and that’s actually in writing on their website, so you can go look at it yourself. That’s an area where people have just said things that are wildly inaccurate and don’t reflect anything about how I’ve operated or what I’ve done.
I want to be this open and this straight so everybody can see the record.” (Source)
Romney calls on Gingrich to return consulting fees “Gingrich, a former House speaker, has said he never lobbied for Freddie Mac and described his work there as that of a historian.”
December 22, 2011: J. C. Watts says Gingrich never lobbied him on Freddie, Fannie: “Watts said Gingrich was not part of the Freddie/Fannie lobbying armada. ‘In the seven-and-a-half years that I was involved with trying to get reform with Fannie and Freddie, I never heard Newt’s name,’ he said.”…. De