Today, Romney brilliantly called for Newt to return the 1.6 million he earned as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac, pointing out that Newt was lying when he claims he was hired as a historian.
FOX HOST BRIAN KILMEADE: "Do you believe he's a lobbyist and do you believe that since he took from Fannie and Freddie.... do you believe he should give that money back?"
ROMNEY: "Boy, I sure do. He was on a debate saying that politicians who took money from Freddie and Fannie should go to jail; I mean, which is outrageous in itself. But look, he says he was in a consulting business? That's very different than the consulting business other people have been in. He was in the business of connecting folks with government. He was on K-Street. This was a connection with government kind of business."
He then said Newt's mansion would put Doris Kearns Goodwin's to shame.
"[Newt was] working for Freddie Mac, getting paid $1.6 million. By the way, a very different number than he said in the first debate. He said $300,000, and he was there as a historian. That would make him the highest paid historian in history."
Newt responded by saying, "If Gov. Romney would give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over the years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him, but I bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won’t take the offer.”
Newt, do you really want to go there? Do you really want to force conservatives to defend Romney's private sector success, as opposed to your feeding off the government trough, and parlaying that into millions by selling influence?
Heh. I say bring it!
UPDATE: Folks, I was wrong. Romney is the one forcing the contrast between his private sector success against Newt's use of governmental power to become wealthy. Newt really had no other choice than to respond the way he did. Romney is wisely using one of Newt's greatest weaknesses against him. And yes, it's brilliant the way Romney is goading Newt into making the kind of gaffes he is known for. Like taking candy from a baby. Look for more.
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