« Miami-Dade's Latin Builders Association to host Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Scott | Main | Oelrich announces he'll seek new GOP congressional seat »

Mitt Romney goes negative: New FL ad blasts Newt Gingrich over Freddie contract

Remember when Mitt Romney said in the last debate that he wished he had spent more time criticizing Barack Obama and not his fellow Republicans? That was right before he lost South Carolina by 12 points heading into Florida, where two new polls show him trailing. The best way to catch up: Go negative. And Romney's doing it, showing he's a fighter who, like Gingrich, can adopt a populist message targeting the electorate in Florida, where the mortgage meltdown has ruined the economy.

Just before announcing this ad, Romney's surrogates, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, tore into Gingrich as an "influence peddler" during a conference call over his $1.7 million consulting contract with lender Freddie Mac, which many conservatives say played a key role in the housing meltdown.

Gingrich had said he was hired not as a lobbyist but as an "historian" whose advice was ultimately not taken. He won't release his contract with and work product for Freddie Mac, saying the agency needs to do it.

Pawlenty and Weatherford said that shows Gingrich isn't being "transparent," hitting him with his own criticisms of Romney who, until recently, had refused to say he'd release his tax returns.

"The notion Newt Gingrich was paid $1.7 mllion by Freddie Mac as an historian is just BS," Pawlenty said.

Weatherford didn't pull punches, either, noting that Gingrich has worked and lived for 30 years in Washington, making it tough to believe he'll be a "change" agent:

"We need principled leaders, not political opportunist," Weatherford said. "$1.7m for a history lesson?....He should have been giving them a math lesson."

About the ad from the Romney campaign:

 

VOICEOVER: “While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in.”

VIDEO TEXT: “While Florida Families Lost Everything In The Housing Crisis, Newt Gingrich Cashed In”

VOICEOVER: “Gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal-ridden agency that helped create the crisis.”

VIDEO TEXT: “Paid $1.6 Million Freddie Mac”

  • Newt Gingrich Reportedly Was Paid Between $1.6 Million And $1.8 Million By Freddie Mac. “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.” (Clea Benson and John McCormick, “Gingrich Said To Be Paid About $1.6 Million By Freddie Mac,” Bloomberg, 11/16/11)

VIDEO TEXT: “Fannie And Freddie Were At Heart Of Crisis – Kansas City Star 12.22.2011”

  • Kansas City Star: “Fannie And Freddie Were At Heart Of Crisis” (Editorial, “Fannie And Freddie Were At Heart Of Crisis,” Kansas City Star, 12/22/11)

NEWT GINGRICH: “And I offered advice. And my advice as a historian…”

  • Newt Gingrich: “I have never done any lobbying, every contract that was written during the period when I was out of the office specifically said I would do no lobbying, and I offered advice. And my advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, we are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do, is I said -- I said to them at the time: This is a bubble.” (Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, Auburn Hills, Michigan, 11/9/11)

VIDEO TEXT: “Gingrich Of Freddie Mac – Wall Street Journal 12.19.2011”

  • The Wall Street Journal: “Gingrich Of Freddie Mac” (Editorial, “Gingrich Of Freddie Mac,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/19/11)

VOICEOVER: “An historian. Really?”

VIDEO TEXT: “Historian? Really?

VOICEOVER: “Sanctioned for ethics violations.”

VIDEO TEXT: “Sanctioned For Ethics”

  • Politifact: “The allegations were largely adjudicated by January 1997, with Gingrich agreeing to pay a sum of $300,000 and admitting that he had ‘engaged in conduct that did not reflect creditably on the House of Representatives.’ He became the first speaker to be sanctioned in this fashion by the House.” (Louis Jacobson, “Newt Gingrich Blasts 1990s Ethics Investigation Of Him, Calling It Partisan,” Politifact, 12/7/11)

VOICEOVER: “Gingrich resigned from Congress in disgrace.”

VIDEO TEXT: “Resigned In Disgrace”

  • Newt Gingrich Resigned From Congress In 1998. “He resigned as speaker of the House after two terms following an unexpectedly close mid-term election in 1998 in which Republicans gained far fewer seats than he had predicted.” (“Senior Gingrich Aides Resign Campaign En Masse,” MSNBC, 6/10/11)

VOICEOVER: “And then cashed in as a DC insider.”

VIDEO TEXT: “Cashed In As A DC Insider”

  • Newt Gingrich Reportedly Was Paid Between $1.6 Million And $1.8 Million By Freddie Mac. “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.” (Clea Benson and John McCormick, “Gingrich Said To Be Paid About $1.6 Million By Freddie Mac,” Bloomberg, 11/16/11)

VOICEOVER: “If Newt wins, this guy would be very happy.”

MITT ROMNEY: “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.”

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.