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Mitt Romney ad mocks ‘historian’ Newt Gingrich

at 01:18 PM ET, 01/23/2012

The presidential campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is out with a new ad in Florida pressuring former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

“While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in,” the narrator of the Romney ad says. “Gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal-ridden agency that helped create the crisis.”  Over a clip of Gingrich saying he worked for the housing giant as a “historian,” the narrator says, “A historian? Really?”

While Gingrich was not technically registered as a lobbyist, he was giving advice on how to influence members of Congress and his description of his work for Freddie Mac as historical was deemed “misleading” by our Fact Checker blog.

Gingrich had two contracts with Freddie Mac reportedly added to about $1.6 million.

Initially, the candidate said officials at Freddie Mac wouldn’t let him release the contracts. When Freddie Mac officials said Gingrich was welcome to do so, he responded it was in the hands of his former company, the Center for Health Transformation.

On Monday, Gingrich said he was asking his old firm to have the contracts released. A lawyer for the company (who is also Gingrich’s campaign counsel) has said this month he would not let the company do so.

Since losing the South Carolina badly to Gingrich, Romney has amped up his rhetoric — calling on the former Speaker to release records of his consulting contracts; he said Monday that Gingrich could have engaged in “potentially wrongful activity of some kind”.

 
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