Gingrich says $1.65M contract wasn't for lobbying

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2012 7:55 AM
Gingrich says $1.65M contract wasn't for lobbying

Newt Gingrich says he never lobbied for Freddie Mac even though he was a consultant to the government-backed mortgage company's chief lobbyist.

Instead, the presidential hopeful says he provided "strategic advice" under the $25,000 per month contract.

Gingrich told NBC on Wednesday that the contract spelled out "no lobbying, period."

The former House speaker's work for Freddie Mac has become an issue in the Republican primary, especially in Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the housing crisis. The second of two contracts between Freddie Mac and Gingrich's consulting business was released Tuesday. In all, Gingrich's businesses were paid $1.65 million by Freddie Mac. He reported to the mortgage company's lobbying office.

Gingrich says lobbying "is a perfectly legitimate business" but he wasn't a lobbyist.