Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on Face the Nation this morning with Bob Schieffer to discuss the GOP primary race and how the Speaker intends to win in Iowa.
Continue reading for Part 2 of Gingrich’s interview.
Report from CBS News:
(CBS News) Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Sunday continued to defend his prior consulting work for Freddie Mac – but says his real mistake was that his campaign did not get out in front of the issue “from the day one.”
In an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Gingrich responded to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial accusing the candidate of being blind to “why anyone is offended” by “his lucrative ties to the failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac,” and faulting the candidate for a “lack of candor” in explaining the relationship.
“I think, candidly, we earned that editorial by not stopping and handling this from the day one and laying it out,” Gingrich said Sunday.
He then continued to defend his relationship with Freddie Mac, and reiterated previous claims that his financial rewards for “consulting” were less than they appeared – and that, actually, his record is “much closer to what the Wall Street Journal wants.”
“The facts are, I didn’t personally get that kind of money,” Gingrich told Schieffer. “It went to a consulting firm which had offices in three cities. The share I got of it was relatively small.”
Gingrich has staunchly – and repeatedly – denied that he ever served as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, despite being paid nearly $2 million by the mortgage giant between 1999 and 2008. Gingrich has been criticized for using a narrow definition of the term “lobbyist” when he denies having been one.
Rightly or not, Gingrich’s connection with Freddie Mac has become a liability on his campaign and I’d fully expect that to be exploited by his competitors heading into Iowa and beyond. Besides the Internal Revenue Service, I can’t think of another federally-run institution more disdained by many GOP primary voters than the mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.