By Geneva Sands - 11/17/11 04:26 PM EST
Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich on Wednesday defended his role as a consultant to Freddie Mac, saying he never lobbied on behalf of the mortgage firm.
“I’ve never lobbied … there were no contracts at any time that we took with anybody that involved lobbying — we were always very clear about that,” Gingrich said in a video posted on ABC News.Gingrich’s remarks came after Bloomberg News reported that the former House Speaker received between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from the mortgage giant.
The reported amount is significantly higher than the payment of $300,000 that Gingrich has acknowledged in the past.
When pressed on whether he ever touted the Freddie Mac mortgage model, Gingrich said, “I think what I tried to do over and over again was offer strategic advice in whatever they were doing.”
At an energy forum Wednesday in Iowa, Gingrich said some of the advice he gave Freddie Mac was in regard to expanding housing opportunities for minorities and teaching people how to save and maintain a home on low income.