by Gage Skidmore

At last night’s GOP presidential debate, after the candidates all took turns blaming the Bush Administration big gubmint for the financial crisis, John Harwood asked Newt what he did to earn $300,000 from Freddie & Fannie in 2006.

I have never done any lobbying, every contract that was written during the period when I was out of the office specifically said I would do no lobbying, and I offered advice. And my advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, we are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that’s what the government wants us to do, is I said — I said to them at the time: This is a bubble. This insane. This is impossible.

Liar, liar.

Internal Freddie Mac budget records show $11.7 million was paid to 52 outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006. Power brokers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were recruited with six-figure contracts. Freddie Mac paid the following amounts to the firms of former Republican lawmakers or ex-GOP staffers in 2006…

Pushing back, Freddie Mac enlisted prominent conservatives, including Gingrich and former Justice Department official Viet Dinh, paying each $300,000 in 2006, according to internal records.

Gingrich talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model.

Newt wasn’t paid over a quarter of a million dollars as a “historian.” But to be fair, he needed the money — that Tiffany bling ain’t cheap.