Romney pressing Freddie Mac attack to the endby George Bennett | January 30th, 2012
DUNEDIN — Several polls show Mitt Romney with a big lead over Newt Gingrich heading into Tuesday’s Florida Republican primary, but Romney — who saw his big South Carolina lead turn into a Gingrich victory — isn’t easing up on the former House speaker.
As he has done in almost every opportunity over the last eight days, Romney today criticized Gingrich for working as a consultant for troubled government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. After pounding home the issue all week and in two nationally televised debates, the only change for Romney is that he’s been striking a tone of mockery rather than outrage the last few days.
“I know the speaker’s not real happy, Speaker Gingrich. He’s not feeling very excited these days,” Romney told a crowd of more than 500 that filled a local park here. “I know, it’s sad. He’s been flailing around a bit trying to go after me for one thing or the other and you just watch it, you shake your head. It’s been kind of painfully revealing to watch. I think the reason he isn’t doing so well is because of those last two debates, don’t you think?”
Gingrich’s company received $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for what Gingrich says were his services as consultant and historian; Romney calls it lobbying.
Romney said voters turned on Gingrich when they found out he “made money from Freddie Mac, the very institution that helped stand behind the huge housing crisis. Here in Florida, if you’re part of the housing crisis you’re probably not going to get elected president. So the people here in Florida said we’re not going to get behind Newt Gingrich, we’re going to get behind Mitt Romney.”