(SPRINGFIELD, Va.) — Ron Paul’s campaign has launched a new ad going after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s influence peddling.
The “Selling Access” ad intertwines Gingrich’s own words with several television talking heads, accusing the former speaker of receiving $1.8 million from mortgage giant Freddie Mac just before it collapsed and receiving $37 million from the health care industry.
The ad then ties Gingrich with the individual mandate clause in the Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul pushed by President Obama, and adds: “Newt Gingrich has been on the both sides of a long list of issues.”
Then Gingrich’s own words are used as he is seen bragging about earning $60,000 a speech.
“I was charging $60,000 a speech — normally celebrities leave and they gradually sell fewer speeches every year — we were selling more,” Gingrich says in the ad.
The ad, which the campaign said will “promote prominently on conservative web sites,” comes on the heels of the web and television ad “Serial Hypocrisy,” which also used news clips to slam Gingrich’s work since leaving public office 13 years ago.
Gingrich himself denies that he has worked as a lobbyist.
During the ABC News/Des Moines Register GOP debate Saturday night, Gingrich was asked to respond to Paul’s claims of influence peddling. Gingrich again said he “was never a spokesman for any agency” and “never did any lobbying for any agency,” though he said he offered strategic advice.
The response generated laughter from the audience.
Gingrich did agree with Paul, however, that the housing bubble came from the Federal Reserve inflating the money supply and also agreed with Paul that the Fed should be audited and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should be fired.
Paul said he found Gingrich’s answer “annoying” and told NBC News that “when you make the credit, somebody has to distribute it and somebody has to benefit.”
The libertarian-leaning Texas congressman is buoyed by strong poll numbers. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, Paul is among the top three in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Similar polls by NBC, CBS and the Des Moines Register show the same. To continue building momentum, Paul has set his sights on Gingrich.
While Gingrich led Republicans in Washington as speaker of the House in the 1990s, Paul has often been a thorn in their side, unyielding in his support for a radical downsizing of the federal government and promoting himself as a “consistent conservative.”
Paul recently told ABC News’ Jon Karl that Gingrich “may be the opposite of what I’ve been doing for 30 years. My positions haven’t changed all that much.”
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