Gingrich received millions from healthcare firms, denies ever lobbying

{mosads}These revelations come as Gingrich is battling questions over whether he lobbied on behalf of mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Gingrich received at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from the government-sponsored enterprise, which he has said on the campaign trail was responsible for causing the financial crisis. 

But Gingrich has adamantly denied lobbying on behalf of any cause, despite the millions raked in from corporate clients.

“I do no lobbying of any kind. I never have. A very important point I want to make. I have never done lobbying of any kind,” Gingrich said Thursday on Fox News.

He also denied ever having advocated for the interests of his clients over his core conservative beliefs. Gingrich testified regularly on Capitol Hill on healthcare reform issues.

“The value we delivered consistently was listening to people, offering them strategic advice, developing positive public policy positions with a very simple ground rule. I believe what I believe based on a very long period of life. If you’d like to come and have my advice, that’s fine. I don’t change any of my beliefs because somebody drops by and wants to pay me. I have no reason to,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said instead that he provided “strategic advice” and historical knowledge to his clients.

“I was being paid to offer a series of – and I did this, as I said a while ago, at a number of companies who would come in and ask for advice on a wide range of things. And as long as they were topics that I was interested in and topics that I cared about, I was very happy to share ideas with people,” Gingrich said.

“What I didn’t do and would not do is I didn’t go and lobby the Congress. I didn’t go and lobby the executive branch. I didn’t try to represent any position I didn’t believe in beforehand. And I think that’s a very big difference between being a lobbyist and being a strategic consultant.”

But critics – including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), whom Gingrich has previously attacked for accepting campaign contributions from Freddie Mac – argue that the sums of money involved imply that corporations were buying influence.

“He was clearly there as a lobbyist and slipped and acknowledged that; you don’t enhance your academic credentials by serving as Speaker, you enhance your credentials as a lobbyist,” said Frank on MSNBC, who added, “there are two … †words that have to do with Newt – lobbyist and liar.”

Gingrich returned serve, saying that Frank “doesn’t believe in the business community” and that his consulting rates were in line with what others charged for similar services.

“If you check around for people who do strategic planning for corporations, people who offer long-range thinking and long-range advice, our fees were in the mid-range of what people charge around this country to large corporations to help them think about their challenges, and in fact, maybe slightly below the mid-range when you talk about the really biggest corporations in America,” Gingrich said.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video