Newt Gingrich: I Didn’t Lobby Because I Already Have A Ton Of Money

Newt Gingrich gave an interesting defense to charges that he spent much of the thirteen years that he has been out of Congress:

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said the reason he didn’t do any lobbying after leaving Congress was because he “was charging $60,000 a speech” and didn’t need the money.

“I did no lobbying of any kind, period,” Gingrich said at a campaign stop on Tuesday in South Carolina. “For a practical reason — and I’m going to be really direct, OK? I was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down.”

Gingrich also referred to himself as a celebrity.

“Normally, celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches every year,” he continued. “We were selling more.”

This made for a fun little discussion this morning on Morning Joe:

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Comments like this are a great example of that good old Gingrich arrogance that I’ve referred to before and, while it may not bother his more conservative supporters, I can’t see things like this resonating very well with the vast group of independents and moderates who have spent the last several years struggling economically. Keep this up Newt, and the Obama campaign is going to start praying that you’re the nominee.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    “Keep this up Newt, and the Obama campaign is going to start praying that you’re the nominee.”

    They already are. Only Romney scares them even a little, which is why they released the ad which I am surprised Perry did not have in the can when he announced, cataloging Romney’s flip-flops.

  2. Rick Almeida says:

    There’s no doubt Newt made a lot of powerful enemies in the Republican Party during his years in power. I’m interested in seeing where, when, and how they plant their knives.

  3. de stijl says:

    You would think that after all his issues in the past, he would come up with some way to cope with optic problems and a way to appear to less arrogant.

  4. Hey Norm says:

    Maybe Gingrich didn’t lobby by the strictest definition of the word…but if it ain’t lobbying that he was doing what is it?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/us/politics/gingrich-gave-push-to-clients-not-just-ideas.html?_r=1&hp

  5. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    Actually, my comment was stupid. His arrogance prevents him from seeing that he has optic problems. Or that he can talk or charm his way out them.

    I think that Newt and Bill Clinton are separated twins or something.

  6. Fiona says:

    @de stijl:

    I think that Newt and Bill Clinton are separated twins or something.

    If so, then Bill got the looks, brains, and charm. He can connect to people in ways Newt can’t even imagine. Nobody will ever believe that Newt feels their pain.

    As to the not lobbying nonsense–yeah right. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it doesn’t matter what you call it–it’s still a duck.

  7. MBunge says:

    While it’s certainly true that Newt has earned a lot of enmity through his behavior and personality, I love how much Beltway disdain for him is based on the fact that he was smart enough to set up his own scam and he hasn’t had to play the same game the rest of them do. Did Newt have to become a professional mouthpiece for someone else? Did he have to deal with the workaday frustrations of a media job? Has he had to bow and scrape before the demands of Beltway propriety?

    The hatred of our political elites is the single greatest advantage Newt has going for him, something he might take surprising advantage of if he can get the GOP nomination.

    Mike

  8. Fiona says:

    Seems like Morning Joe really doesn’t like the Newster. Or any of these commentators for that matter.

    Seeing the clip, Newt does come off as a sanctimonious prick. I don’t think he can hide this side of himself, which is–let’s be honest–his essence, for very long on the campaign trail.

    I’m interested in seeing where, when, and how they plant their knives.

    Me too.

  9. Fiona says:

    @MBunge:

    The hatred of our political elites is the single greatest advantage Newt has going for him, something he might take surprising advantage of if he can get the GOP nomination.

    I sure hope you’re wrong about this or that, of you’re right, it takes him only as far as it took Palin.

  10. Hey Norm says:

    If you are going to compare the egos of Newt and Clinton…let’s keep in mind that Clinton was a two term President, and Newt got run out of town on a rail.

  11. Tsar Nicholas says:

    No, honey, I didn’t cheat on you with my secretary. The receptionist already was blowing me every lunch hour.

    On a serious note, and at the risk of being melodramatic, the Gingrich candidacy and at least its ostensible support bodes quite ill for the country. These are hard times and they’re about to get a lot worse. That a guy with as much personal and professional baggage as Gingrich is being considered as a serious presidential candidate by one of the two political parties is chilling to the conscience in terms of its absurdity. As a nation we’re definitely on the wrong track.

  12. de stijl says:

    @Fiona:

    If so, then Bill got the looks, brains, and charm.

    As well as the arrogance and the blind-spot as big as Australia, just like Newt. And the tendency to think “If I get caught I can charm my way out of it.”

    Clinton is better at the charm gig than Newt, but it doesn’t negate the shared tendencies.

    @Hey Norm:

    If you are going to compare the egos of Newt and Clinton…let’s keep in mind that Clinton was a two term President, and Newt got run out of town on a rail.

    I’m missing your point. I’m not being argumentative, but can you say it a different way? Sorry, sometimes I can be dense.

  13. Hey Norm says:

    At one point I thought we were going to have a useful national discussion about what this country should look like…Obama’s view or Perry’s view (ie Perry’s Texas). But with Gingrich and Romney you can’t have that discussion because you don’t know what they actually think. Maybe that lack of conviction about anything helps them in the general. I guess we’ll find out.
    In previous elections I could see the argument of Reagan, or the Bush’s…even though I didn’t agree with them. I just can’t for the life of me see an argument for why this nation needs Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. Even the wingnuts can’t make one…they are all about destroying Obama for some percieved harm he has done, which is always based on false-hoods. (refer to Eric Florack: Obama crashed the economy) There seems to be no constructive reason, no productive rationale, for either of these two candidates. Even worse – there are no new ideas for addressing our problems coming out of either one of them. So the discussion we are going to have is not about a choice…but about nothing…an inability to commit to an absence of ideas vs. a record of achievement that republicans refuse to acknowledge.

  14. Hey Norm says:

    de stijl…
    I’m just making the point that while both Clinton and Newt have huge egos…seperated at birth as you say…Clinton’s arrogance is justified to some extent by his record. Newt…not so much.

  15. de stijl says:

    @Hey Norm:

    Gotcha. Thanks.

  16. anjin-san says:

    If you are going to equate Clinton and Newt, Clinton is the quarterback who wins the super bowl for you and Newt is the third string QB who only does something useful when he holds for field goals.

  17. Newt didn’t lobby, he was a higly paid visionary. Right. And my dog doesn’t pee on your leg, he waters your pants.

    The Newtron Bomb would be funny, if he weren’t so serious.

  18. Montanareddog says:

    @MBunge:

    The hatred of our political elites is the single greatest advantage Newt has going for him, something he might take surprising advantage of if he can get the GOP nomination.

    But he is one of the worst examples of this political elite. He has been in DC for what?, 30 years, his nose in the trough ever since he was forced to resign for ethics violations, and he runs as an outsider who will clean up Washington.

    He would be more convincing if he ran on a “Nixon in China” strategy; “since I know more about corruption than any of my opponents, I am best-placed to clean out the Augean Stables” – and the gratuitous Classical Mythology reference would be exactly the kind of thing he would throw into a speech too.