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Newt Gingrich will never be President

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Who Is This Slimy Creature? It's Newt!
Who Is This Slimy Creature? It’s Newt!

I would be insanely surprised if Newt Gingrich even survives the first couple months of the upcoming primary season. He just has too much political baggage.

Talking Points Memo reports:

The real news in Bloomberg’s new reporting on Newt Gingrich’s time as a consultant for Freddie Mac isn’t how much he made — though that’s pretty precious — but that Freddie Mac sources from that time period say Newt was not, as he claimed, warning them about the housing bubble or the dangers of their business model. Nor, it should be added, was Newt advising them, as he most preposterously claimed, as a historian. In fact, his role was, in part, to protect the mortgage giants from more regulation by the Republican-controlled House.

(click here to continue reading Come Off It, Newt | Talking Points Memo.)

Clea Benson and Dawn Kopecki write that Gingrich made much more than the $300,000 he claimed last week. Significantly more, in fact:

Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement. The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.

Gingrich’s first contract with the mortgage lender was in 1999, five months after he resigned from Congress and as House speaker, according to a Freddie Mac press release.His primary contact inside the organization was Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist, and he was paid a self- renewing, monthly retainer of $25,000 to $30,000 between May 1999 until 2002, according to three people familiar with aspects of the business agreement.

During that period, Gingrich consulted with Freddie Mac executives on a program to expand home ownership, an idea Delk said he pitched to President George W. Bush’s White House.

(click here to continue reading Gingrich Said to Be Paid $1.6M by Freddie Mac – Bloomberg.)

Wheels grind exceedingly fine
Wheels grind exceedingly fine

and Gingrich lied about what his role was, unsurprisingly:

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said during a Nov. 9 debate that he earned a $300,000 fee to advise Freddie Mac as a “historian” who warned that the mortgage company’s business model was “insane.”

Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with the consulting work Gingrich was hired to perform for the company in 2006 tell a different story. They say the former House speaker was asked to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.

If Gingrich concluded that the company’s business model was at risk and that the housing market was a “bubble,” as he said during the debate, he didn’t share those concerns with Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chief executive officer at the time, a person familiar with the company’s internal discussions said.

(click here to continue reading Gingrich Said to Be Paid By Freddie Mac to Court Republicans – Bloomberg.)

Taking Freddie Mac’s money all those years didn’t preclude Gingrich from badmouthing the organization, once his contract ended. Sour grapes of an ex-lobbyist?

Written by Seth Anderson

November 16th, 2011 at 9:29 am

Posted in politics

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