Gingrich Consulting Role at Freddie Mac Questioned by Romney
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says his lawyers are blocking him from releasing his consulting contracts with Freddie Mac, while he continues to offer accounts of what he did for the government-backed mortgage lending institution that differ from those who worked with him.
Gingrich’s advisory role with Freddie Mac has become fodder for his chief rival for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign said today it will begin airing a television ad in Florida, site of the next Republican primary, tying Gingrich’s work to the state’s troubled housing market.
At a campaign event today in Tampa, Romney said Gingrich should have seen the housing crisis coming and voters “ought to be able to see what it is he told” Freddie Mac.
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Florida House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford said in a Romney-arranged conference call with reporters today that Gingrich must provide “transparency” about his work for Freddie Mac.
“We don’t have insight or transparency into what he actually did,” Pawlenty said. He called Gingrich’s claims that lawyers are holding up the release of the contracts “B.S.” and “just nonsense.”