2012 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney today broke out a harsher line on Newt Gingrich, Saturday’s winner of the South Carolina GOP primary, once again saying that the former speaker of the House should give back the $1.7 million in payments he received from mortgage giant Freddie Mac. “He said in a debate, actually, that people who profited from the failed model of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae ought to give back their money,” Romney noted. “Well, the speaker made $1.7 million in his enterprises from providing services to Freddie Mac. He ought to give it back.”
On his financial disclosure statement filed last month, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 in a mutual fund that invests in debt notes of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, among other government entities. Over the previous year, he had reported earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest from those investments.
And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.
Over the weekend, Romney intends to start airing an ad that will say, “While Florida families lost everything in the housing crisis, Newt Gingrich cashed in. Gingrich was paid over $1.6 million by the scandal-ridden agency that helped create the crisis.” Shockingly enough, the ad fails to mention Romney’s own investments in the government backed mortgage giants, which have netted him tens of thousands of dollars.