Gingrich’s Freddie Mac work, questions about Romney’s true colors sway votersby Jane Musgrave | January 31st, 2012
WINDERMERE – A week of attacks and counteracts between the two top GOP presidential candidates appeared to be resonating with voters who began going to the polls today.
Alan Haughey, who lives in this upscale community outside Orlando, said his concerns about Newt Gingrich’s work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac pushed him to vote for Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
On the other hand, Dan O’Hara, 71, said Gingrich got his vote because he is a “true conservative.”
Since hitting the Sunshine State last week, Romney has been hammering Gingrich about his $1.6 million consulting contract with Freddie Mac. Gingrich has said he didn’t lobby, merely offered it advice as a historian.
“Totally hypocritical,” Haughey declared.
At the same time, Gingrich has been blasting Romney as a moderate, at times even calling his chief opponent “a liberal.” To prove Gingrich’s credentials as a “Reagan conservative,” the revered late president’s son on Monday joined him on the campaign trail. Michael Reagan, the oldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is riding with the former House speaker on his campaign bus to various Orlando area polling places today.
“He’s carried the direction of the conservative movement in spite of the fact that a lot of Republicans don’t like him,” said O’Hara, who got a chance to talk to Gingrich, express their shared conservative views and snap a picture.
But while O’Hara likes the bombastic side of Gingrich, it worries Haughey.
“He’s as divisive a candidate as we can run,” he said. “Right now we need people working together. The problems we have are way too significant to do it on a partisan basis.”