Gingrich: Freddie Money Went to 'Overhead'

Romney steps up attacks on Gingrich: 'It's a duck'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2011 6:39 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich fields a question during the debate at the Sioux City Convention Center on December 15, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Saying he wanted to "set the record straight," Newt Gingrich once again defended his work for Freddie Mac yesterday, now emphasizing that the $1.6 million he took in over six years went to his company, not into his pockets, and that he was mostly concerned with providing housing for the poor, reports Reuters. "Most of that money went to pay for overhead, for staff, for other things that didn't go directly to me," said Gingrich, who also emphasized that he "did not in any way work in influence, per se."

But Mitt Romney isn't letting the issue die. At a town hall meeting yesterday, he said Gingrich's denials of lobbying for Freddie Mac fail the duck test: "When it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, typically it’s a duck," quipped Romney. He also brought up the fact that Gingrich at first claimed to have earned $300,000 from Freddie Mac, a number later revealed to be $1.6 million. "I think that as tea partiers concentrate on that for instance, they’ll say, 'Wow, this really isn’t the guy who would represent our views,'" said Romney. When asked about global warming, Romney swung again at his rival, saying, "First of all, I’m not planning on cutting an ad with Nancy Pelosi" (like, one supposes, this one).

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