Monday, January 23, 2012

Romney attacks Gingrich for "influence peddling"

The conflict: Gov. Mitt Romney says the $35,000 a year Freddie Mac paid former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was nothing more than "influence peddling."

Mr. Gingrich says it was all about historical perspective, the history of American government in relation to such industries as mortgage lending and health care.

From there, the evening's debate proceeded downhill:

"The fact is I offered strategic advice, largely based on my knowledge of history, including the history of Washington," Gingrich said of his work. The Gingrich campaign released a copy of his contract with Freddie Mac this evening at the behest of the Romney campaign.

Romney insisted that Gingrich's advocacy work on behalf of Freddie Mac — as well as the ex-speaker's push for a prescription drug benefit in Medicare during a legislative battle in 2003 — representing nothing more than lobbying by another name.

"If you're getting paid by health companies … and you then meet with Republican congressmen and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you'd like. I call it influence-peddling," Romney said. "It is not right. It is not right. You have a conflict."

One may read Mr. Gingrich's contract by clicking here:

And so it goes.

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