Bloomberg’s John McCormick: “Bipartisan commissions have sort of found that ‘influentials’ were sometimes put on Fannie & Freddie just to have them friendly. Is this is a case of that?
Gingrich: “I have no idea…I approached to give strategic advice. I was glad to offer strategic advice and we did it for a number of companies and Gingrich Group was very successful.”
McCormick: Do you think you were sort of being bought to just be there and be a friendly voice?”
Gingrich: “No, I don’t think that anymore than your institution is being bought by the people who advertise in it.”
The New York Time’s Trip Gabriel: “Do you recall any of the strategic advice you did give?…Expanding housing for low-income Hispanic communities, for example?”
Gingrich: “Well, first of all, if you can do it in a way that is financially sound, every American should be interested in expanding housing opportunities for people whether they’re African American, or Latino or of any background so the idea that you’re thinking about how can we help people learn how to budget, how can we help people learn how to save, how could you help them learn how to maintain a house on a low income would strike me, for more people, would be good things to do, not bad things to do and I’m happy to say I made public speeches to the National Association of Home Builders. I’m in favor of the largest possible home ownership. This is all public knowledge. I’m in favor of doing the right kind of things and you can go talk to Rick Lazio about the support I gave him as speaker on housing reform which he pushed through despite opposition of some of the people like Barney Frank and others, so I think the record there is one of I’m pretty consistent and frankly, I tend to give the same strategic advice in private I give in public.”
….AP’s Tom Beaumont: “Does this remind you that your background comes from being a Washington insider?”
Gingrich: “It reminds people that I know a great deal about Washington and if you want to change Washington, we just tried four years of amateur ignorance and it didn’t work very well, so having somebody who knows Washington might be a really good thing.”