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Entries in Newt Gingrich (7)

Sunday
May202012

Gingrich Owed $4.78M When He Suspended Campaign, Report Finds

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- By the time he announced his plans to suspend his campaign in late April, Newt Gingrich owed $4.78 million, according to his FEC filing for April, released Sunday.

The Gingrich campaign had just $806,960 cash on hand by the close of the reporting period, which was April 30. Gingrich took in only $638,830 in that month.

Gingrich’s largest debt—$1.03 million—is to Moby Dick Airways, a private jet company. Gingrich also owes a great deal to himself: $580,134.

Among Gingrich’s other debts are the $16,525 he owes Herman Cain Solutions for strategic consulting and travel, and the $12,763 he owes Twitter for a media buy, according to the FEC report.

The latest monthly report for the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future showed a very different financial picture. Winning Our Future reported no debt, and ended the reporting period with $5.6 million cash on hand.

Still, the PAC’s filing showed that the group could face a problem staying solvent in the long term. Winning Our Future raised just $478 in April, and it came from only one donor—Frank Hanna Jr. of Georgia, a member of the investment committee of the Paladin Capital Group in Washington, D.C. The PAC only spent $132,701 in April.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan112012

Presidential Candidates' Homes Range from Modest to Many

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though they are all vying to live in the White House, the GOP presidential contenders all have charming and sometimes lavish homes to tide them over.  Even the current commander-in-chief still has a multi-million dollar Georgian revival mansion in Illinois -- just in case.

From a Washington, D.C., townhouse to a tony mini-mansion, here are the houses that the seven rivals currently call home.  That is, until or if one of them starts having mail forwarded to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Newt Gingrich -- McLean, Va.
Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and U.S. Congressman from Georgia, purchased his home in McLean, Va., for $995,000 in 2000.  It has 5,206 square feet and features a master bathroom with a marble floor and a chandelier.

Jon Huntsman -- Washington, D.C.
If Jon Huntsman's home looks familiar, it's because it was where the contestants of Bravo's Top Chef resided during Season 7.  The former Utah governor and ambassador to China owns a five-bedroom townhouse in Washington, D.C.  The house was sold for $3.6 million in June 2010, according to public records.

Ron Paul -- Lake Jackson, Texas
Texas Rep. Ron Paul's four-bedroom ranch house in Lake Jackson has been on the market since April 2011.  The Pauls have moved to a nearby home.  His site, BuyRonPaulsHouse.com, says the home has "four bedrooms, five bathrooms and is approximately 5,500 square feet in size."  The asking price is $325,000 while the median list price of homes in Lake Jackson is $139,800, according to Zillow.  The house has an in-ground swimming pool, two lofts and an office.

Rick Perry -- Austin, Texas
While waiting for renovations to the governor's mansion to be completed, Perry reportedly moved to a home in a gated community in Austin.  The house features five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, three dining rooms and a guest house.  The New York Times said the home, which has a balcony, is worth nearly $2 million and sits on three acres.  On Realtor.com, the home on Hickory Creek Drive is said to have 5,780 square feet.

Mitt Romney -- Wolfeboro, N.H.
The former Massachusetts governor and wealthiest GOP candidate owns the most real estate, including a property on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  According to The New York Times, he recently sold his homes in Belmont, Mass. and Park City, Utah, but maintains another in La Jolla, Calif., for which he bought in 2008 for $12 million, Zillow reported.

Rick Santorum -- Great Falls, Va.
Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, lives in a Great Falls, Va., house that reportedly cost $2 million in 2007.

President Barack Obama -- Chicago, Ill.
President Obama reportedly paid $1.65 million for his home on the South Side of Chicago in June 2005, Zillow reports.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan102012

New Hampshire Primary: Who's the Richest Candidate of Them All?

Nick M Do/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, there are no poor people among the front-runners.

According to financial disclosures filed by the candidates, and to analyses of those filings by watchdog groups and news organizations, none of the six Republicans is worth much less than $2 million.  Some, including Romney and Huntsman, have a great deal more money.

As for the front-running Democrat on the ballot -- President Obama -- he, too, isn't anywhere near the so-called "99 percent": An analysis of the President's financial filings by OpenSecrets.org assigns him a net worth of $2.8 million to $11.8 million. Forbes puts it at $10 million, with the potential for his earning "a lot more after office."

See the net worth of the candidates below:

1. Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts

Romney's Aug. 12 financial disclosures for the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) show him to have a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, making him by far the richest of the Republicans still standing.  Successful in his own right as a venture capitalist, he didn't exactly pull himself up by his bootstraps: His father was president of General Motors.

2. Jon Huntsman, Former Ambassador to China, Former Governor of Utah
Huntsman's OGE filing for Aug. 30 shows a net worth somewhere between $16 million and $105 million.  Forbes estimates it as $50 million.  The candidate stands to become significantly richer when his father dies: The elder Huntsman, founder of global chemical manufacturer Huntsman Corp, has a net worth estimated by Forbes at over $900 million.

3. Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House

Gingrich's prime money-making years began in 1999, after his resignation from Congress.  He started a profitable consulting practice, The Gingrich Group, which reportedly earned in excess of $1.6 million from contracts with mortgage giant Freddie Mac.  As a lecturer, he earned fees of up to $50,000 per talk.  His net worth, according to his Office of Government Ethics filing for July 14, is at least $6.7 million.

4. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas
Perry's net worth -- approximately $3 million -- includes a one-third interest in a ranch in Haskell, Texas, according to his Dec. 15 OGE filing.  Some of his wealth has come from lucrative deals with friends and supporters.

5. Ron Paul, Congressman from Texas
Watchdog group OpenSecrets.org puts Paul's wealth at between $1.9 million and $5.2 million, making the diminutive doctor the 87th richest member of the House of Representatives.

6. Rick Santorum, Former Pennsylvania Senator
The former senator has a net worth of up to $2 million according to his Aug. 2 filing with the Office of Government Ethics.  He earned some of it working as a commentator for News Corp's Fox News, which paid him just under $240,000 in 2010 and the first six months of 2011.  He earned more than $330,000 as a consultant to Consul Energy in Pennsylvania and to two lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.

7. Barack Obama, President of the United States
The first couple's joint tax return shows income last year of $1.73 million, down from $5.5 million the year before, with much of it coming from sales of two of the president's books, Dreams From my Father and The Audacity of Hope. Citing financial records, Forbes pins President Obama's worth at $10 million. Like every former president, Obama has the potential for his earning a fortune in book deals and speaking engagement when he leave office -- whenever that may be.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Gingrich Takes Aim at Romney's Value-Added Tax Proposal

Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Recent comments by Mitt Romney in which he contemplates a Value-Added Tax and Co-Insurance are becoming fodder for his rival presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign, which has taken to calling Romney a “Massachusetts moderate” and now says Romney has looked at "European Socialist ideas."

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said that the Romney ruminations were part and parcel of the case Gingrich will be making to voters this week: he represents conservative values, while Romney is a “Massachusetts moderate.”

“The fact that he’s willing to look at European Socialism shows just how far out of the conservative mainstream he is,” Hammond said.

In a December 24 story in The Wall Street Journal, Romney is described not favoring the idea of “layering a VAT onto the current income tax system. But he adds that, philosophically speaking, a VAT might work as a replacement for some part of the tax code, ‘particularly at the corporate level,’ as Paul Ryan proposed several years ago. What he doesn’t do is rule a VAT out.”

A value-added tax, or VAT, is a form of the consumption tax in which the tax is levied based on a product’s price, not including the cost of materials; it originated in and is popular in Europe, imposed by the European Commission and the governments of France and the United Kingdom, among others.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Dec042011

Newt Gingrich In For Trump Debate – ‘Apprentice: The Presidency’

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is ready to participate in what he calls, “Apprentice: The Presidency” with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump will moderate a debate hosted by conservative magazine Newsmax in Des Moines, Iowa on Dec. 27. Gingrich is the only candidate to officially announce his participation so far. Both Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman declined.

“How could you turn down the Donald?” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said that while he enjoys debating, for him it’s about the entertainment.

“I would want to go just for the entertainment value. I can’t imagine [what] a debate hosted by Donald Trump will be like,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich plans to meet with Trump on Monday as several other candidates have already done. Gingrich said the meeting with Trump was already planned before the announcement of the debate last week.

Gingrich said he is “perfectly happy” to go to the debate since he will already be in town.

“It’s going to be in Iowa so it makes a lot of sense because we’re going to be in Iowa by that point,” Gingrich said. “In all seriousness, Trump is a unique American character. It would be like if Bill Gates called and said I’d like to host a debate.”

Gingrich will meet with Trump on Monday in New York City.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun152011

Newt Gingrich: In It to Win It -- Or To Get Paid?

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In presidential politics, winning is no longer everything. Especially for Newt Gingrich, who has used his run for president as a kind of savvy marketing campaign built around his political persona.

In the last five years, critics say the former Speaker of the House has lived a life of luxury built around his empire, including millions in private jet travel, paid for with donations to a political group he founded. Gingrich's lifestyle also includes a million dollar home in suburban Washington and jewelry from Tiffany's.

"You can do very well by running for president," said Scott Reed, a Republican strategist. "You don't always have to win."  

Sarah Palin, a little-known governor before John McCain picked her as his running mate in 2008, has turned her political celebrity into a multi-million dollar business, with books, paid speeches, and a reality TV show.

"There's a heck of a business out there for ex-politicians that have run," said Reed, who managed Sen. Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign. Reed said Palin actually has a "real choice" to make about running in 2012, "because she has a very lucrative career going right now."  

But Reed says that for some Republicans this election cycle, running for president seems mostly about marketing -- about creating or enhancing a valuable brand name.

"I mean to me it's kind of a game," said Reed. "It makes their brand have some value."

And no one seems to have realized that more than Gingrich, who has not held elective office since 1999. When he was pressed on the half-million-dollar account that he and his wife Callista had with Tiffany's on Face the Nation, Gingrich called it a "standard, no-interest account" and said he and his wife live on a budget.

"Go talk to Tiffany's," Gingrich told host Bob Schieffer. "All I'm telling you is, we are very frugal. We in fact live within our budget."

Earlier this month, Gingrich and Callista took a cruise in the Greek isles, which led virtually his whole staff to resign, questioning whether he was more interested in selling books and DVDs than running for president.  

Part of Gingrich's empire, a kind of Gingrich, Inc., includes several for-profit businesses. Gingrich Communications oversees his paid speaking engagements and Fox News contract. Gingrich Group provides consulting services. Gingrich Productions makes feel-good documentaries with themes grounded in religion and American tradition.  

This week Gingrich also released his 24th book, with many of his upcoming campaign stops doubling as marketing events for his book and movies, raising more questions about the true intentions of the campaign.

"If he's being driven by book sales, and movie openings and things like that, that doesn't fit into a traditional campaign," said Reed.

Also raising questions from independent watchdog groups is the operation of a charity Gingrich founded, called Renewing American Leadership. Its website contained ads for Gingrich's books -- taken down after ABC News asked about them -- and posted his positions on political hot-button issues.

"It's not clear that it is a charity," said Ellen Miller, executive director of the non-partisan group The Sunlight Foundation. "We have an organization that looks like he's mixing public purpose and his own private political purpose."

The charity's fundraising letters, on Gingrich's letterhead, attack President Obama and also promote Gingrich's book. In fact, records show the charity bought Gingrich's books to give to those who send in donations. There was no discount in the price, according to the charity's new director, Pastor Jim Garlow.

"My concern was, 'Is there any way we can get these a lot cheaper?' and we couldn't and we didn't," said Garlow.

A recent audit discovered that the charity paid one of Gingrich's for-profit companies more than $200,000, which the charity says was used to pay his then-press secretary Rick Tyler, who was also the director of the charity -- until March -- and made the decision to buy the Gingrich books with charity funds.

Garlow said he didn't think Gingrich's charity and political career had become too intertwined, and accused ABC News of misreading Gingrich's intent.

Said Garlow, "What's so intriguing about you, in the media, you can't believe people have pure motives. That's so hard for you. So difficult for you.  You assume everyone's got evil motives."

Gingrich refused repeated requests to be interviewed about his empire, and had little to say when ABC News caught up with him Tuesday morning on his way to a speech.

"I'm not concerned about that," said Gingrich. "The American people are not concerned about that. Cover the speech."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov092010

Gingrich: Bernanke 'Fundamentally Wrong,' 'Misreading Economy'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- They could soon be political opponents if Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin decide to make a run for the Oval Office, but speaking to ABC News on Tuesday, the former speaker of the House agreed with Palin’s criticism of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

“I would say that Bernanke is fundamentally wrong,” Gingrich said. “He is fundamentally misreading the economy. This economy lacks confidence in the government, it doesn’t lack cash.”

Palin on Monday called on Bernanke to “cease and desist” with his plan to buy $600 billion worth of bonds and cited a warning from the German minister of finance, according to the National Review.

Gingrich said it is “interesting” that Palin and Germany are on the same side – but added America should take a look at what the country accomplished.
 
“Germany right now has its lowest unemployment rate in 18 years. They are the only exporting country in Europe that can compete with China,” he said.

So what will help the U.S. economy? Gingrich said we need certainty on taxes.

“When the Democrats left Congress without having passed a tax bill they guaranteed that no company in America, no investor in America has a clue on January 1 what their taxes are,” he said. “That’s an environment where you don’t create jobs. And pouring out more paper money and increasing the risk of inflation is not a very clever way of trying to solve that.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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