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January 23, 2012

Romney blasts Gingrich, calls for more disclosure

Mitt Romney lashed out at Newt Gingrich Monday, blasting the former House Speaker and saying "he's got some records which could represent an October surprise."

Gingrich has been insisting Romney release his income tax records. Romney plans to release 2010 returns and 2011 estaimtes Tuesday.

But, Romney asked in a meeting with reporters, what hasn't Gingrich disclosesd?

“The Speaker was very animated about my releasing tax records – I am. I think it’s an appropriate observation that people should know if there’s going to be an October Surprise," Romney said.

"In the case of the Speaker, he’s got some records which could represent an October Surprise. We could see an October Surprise a day from Newt Gingrich. Let’s see the records from the ethics investigation. Let’s see what they show."

Gingrich paid a $300,000 penalty and was reprimanded by the House of Representatives for ethics lapses in 1997.

"Let’s see who his clients were at the time he was lobbying Republican congressmen for Medicare Part D," Romney said. Part D is the system's prescripton drug program.

"Was he working or were his entities working with any health care companies that could have benefited from that? That could represent not just evidence of lobbying but potentially wrongful activity of some kind."

Romney also wanted to know more about Gingrich's relationship with mortgage titan Freddie Mac. Gingrich's firm was paid more than $1 million, but said he was not invovled in lobbying. Gingrich said Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America" he would like to release details but that's up to Freddie Mac.

"Let’s have full disclosure of what’s going on," Romney said. "By the way, saying that Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist is just a matter of fact. He indicates that he doesn’t fall within the narrow definition of lobbyists that he might have in mind.

"But if you’re working for a company, getting paid for a company through one of your many entities and then you’re speaking with Congressmen in a way that would help that company, that’s lobbying. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.”


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business consultants

The debate is getting interesting and exciting everyday. The presentation of tax returns may resolve the issue but may also extend and worsen the debate as well. Let's just hope for a peaceful and factual debate.

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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