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Romney, Gingrich trade jabs over investments, negative ad

January 26, 2012|By Kim Geiger
  • Republican presidential candidates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participate in the Republican presidential candidates debate at the University of South Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.
Republican presidential candidates former House Speaker Newt Gingrich… (Matt Rourke / Associated…)

After trading jabs all week over the political liabilities each had accrued during their time in the private sector, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich went at it tonight over their respective ties to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Gingrich attacked Mitt Romney for his investments in the mortgage companies and for investing in Goldman Sachs, "which is today foreclosing on Floridians." Romney has blasted the former House speaker for his past work as a consultant for Freddie Mac.

“First of all, my investments are not made by me,” Romney replied, referring to his blind trust, which is operated by a trustee.

“Have you ever checked your own investments?” Romney asked Gingrich. “You also have investments in mutual funds that also invest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

“What the speaker did was to work as a spokesman to promote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Romney said.

Gingrich shot back with a reference to Romney’s earlier assertion that he hadn’t seen an ad -- run on Romney’s behalf -- that slammed Gingrich for suggesting that Spanish is “the language of the ghetto.”

CNN debate moderator Wolf Blitzer had earlier told Romney that fact-checkers had determined the ad carried Romney’s on-camera approval.

“First of all, you’ll notice that the governor wasn’t aware of the ad he was running,” Gingrich said. “He was not aware of the investments that were being made in his name --“

Romney cut in: “Of course I can’t -- that’s a blind trust.”

“To compare my investments with his is like comparing a tiny mouse with a giant elephant,” Gingrich said.

kim.geiger@latimes.com

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