The real news in Bloomberg’s new reporting on Newt Gingrich’s time as a consultant for Freddie Mac isn’t how much he made — though that’s pretty precious — but that Freddie Mac sources from that time period say Newt was not, as he claimed, warning them about the housing bubble or the dangers of their business model. Nor, it should be added, was Newt advising them, as he most preposterously claimed, as a historian. In fact, his role was, in part, to protect the mortgage giants from more regulation by the Republican-controlled House.
Newt now seems to be backing away from his claim in last week’s debate that he warned them about the housing bubble. He’s also now calling the advice he gave “strategic” rather than historical.
Here’s Newt during the debate:
Adding to the fun: Newt himself back in the 2008 campaign, just after his paid gig with Freddie Mac ended, said John McCain should exploit the close ties Democrats had to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.