“Show me the records!”
Governor Mitt Romney has turned the tables on Newt Gingrich:
TAMPA – A combative Mitt Romney on Monday broadened his call for Newt Gingrich to release records from his work as a consultant, speculating that those documents and records from the ethics investigation that led Gingrich to resign from the House of Representatives could show “potentially wrongful activity of some kind.”
“We could see an October surprise a day from Newt Gingrich,” Romney told reporters at a media availability here. “And so let’s see the records from the ethics investigation, let’s see what they show. Let’s see who his clients were at the time he was lobbying Republican congressmen for Medicare Part D.
“Was he working or were his entities working with any health-care companies that could’ve benefited from that? That could represent not just evidence of lobbying but potentially wrongful activity of some kind.”
“He said in a debate, actually, that people who profited from the failed model of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ought to give back their money,” Romney said. “Well, the speaker made $1.7 million in his enterprises from providing services to Freddie Mac. He ought to give it back.”
Here’s what Gingrich claims:
Gingrich repeatedly has said that he never lobbied lawmakers on behalf of Freddie Mac and health-care companies, saying he was paid for his services as a consultant and historian.
“I was not a lobbyist, I was never a lobbyist, I never did any lobbying. Don’t try to mix these things up. That fact is I was an adviser strategically,” he said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”
Earlier today Governor Tim Pawlenty and Florida House of Reps Speaker Designate Will Weatherford held a press conference call on Gingrich’s work as a “historian” for Freddie Mac. Pawlenty sums it up: “The notion that he was paid $1.7 million as a historian for Freddie Mac is just B.S. Newt Gingrich has represented hundreds of clients and interest groups in Washington, D.C., since he left the speakership. To say that he wasn’t a lobbyist is incredible hair-splitting.”
Romney hit Gingrich on his “highly eratic” style of leading:
He noted that Gingrich voted in favor of establishing the Department of Education, yet now says the department should be eliminated and its authority sent to the states. And Romney said Gingrich is “opposed vehemently” to the Massachusetts health-care system “and yet just a couple of years ago wrote about what a superb system it was.”
“He’s gone from pillar to post almost like a pinball machine, from item to item in a way which is highly erratic and does not suggest a stable, thoughtful course which is normally associated with leadership,” Romney said.
“By the way, saying that Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist is just a matter of fact. He indicates that he doesn’t fall within the narrow definition of lobbyists that he might have in mind. But if you’re working for a company, getting paid for a company through one of your many entities and then you’re speaking with Congressmen in a way that would help that company, that’s lobbying. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.” ~ Mitt Romney