Gingrich: Romney’s lying about my ethics case

posted at 12:10 pm on January 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Reports from the campaign trail today indicate that Newt Gingrich is angrier today on the stump than at any time in this cycle.  One reporter on Twitter said Gingrich went on an extended rant against Mitt Romney before starting his stump speech at a Florida morning venue.  At least part of that anger comes from Romney’s attack on Gingrich over his ethics case in the mid-1990s as Speaker, as Gingrich explained to Sean Hannity last night (via Greg Hengler):

Greg also finds a CNN report from 1999 noting Gingrich’s complete vindication on the ethics charges by the IRS:

How exactly is Romney attacking Gingrich on this point? A bit passive-aggressively. Romney’s not actually claiming that Gingrich was guilty of the ethics charges, but he keeps demanding that Gingrich release the “full findings” of the investigation, as he did Monday:

Romney has also called on Gingrich to release the findings from an ethics probe that led the House to reprimand Gingrich and fine him $300,000 for improperly financing two projects and misleading the ethics committee, the first time a speaker was convicted of ethics violations.

“Of course he should,” release the full findings of the investigation, Romney told reporters on Friday, adding that “You know it’s going to get out before the general election.”

However, the person who led the probe says that all of the relevant material has already been released:

Romney’s request, however, would require the current Ethics Committee to vote to release any remaining supporting documents that were not part of the public report that came out in January 1997. According to Johnson, those documents would not include any additional material relevant to what is already online at the committee’s Web site. She added that the eight-member panel had an extensive amount of time to question Gingrich about any matter.

“The committee members had the freedom to question the witness as long as they had any unanswered questions,” Johnson said Monday.

It’s pretty lengthy, and it’s in image-scan format rather than text format, which makes it impossible to cut and paste material, but the report is most certainly there.  Given the IRS’ exoneration, it’s pretty difficult to understand what else Romney needs to see, and it looks more like a cheap shot than a real campaign issue.  Nothing’s being hidden, unless Romney wants to postulate that the IRS under Bill Clinton ignored evidence of guilt to exonerate Gingrich.  Give this one a rest already.

Update: Romney’s campaign let this ad loose in Florida yesterday

If Bill Clinton’s IRS exonerated Gingrich, why are we still talking about this? And why are we using Nancy Pelosi as a guidepost in a Republican primary?

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Holy shiiite, Dole’s statement re:gingrich just came out.

Endgame ?

runner on January 26, 2012 at 1:39 PM

There’s a reason why Dole lost in 96. Me!!! And I’m sure there’s about another ten million. I thank him for his service in the war but not in Congress. The elites talk about the times that newt was critical of Reagan, but they hope that you weren’t paying attention back in the days before the interwebs, when they weren’t just as overtly critical but actively and covertly blocking him in Congress. Tax cuts? They were against it. Amnesty? They were for it. Arms race? They were against it. S&L crash? They were involved. “Gorby, tear down that wall? They were apoplectic. Shall I go on? If newt was critical of Reagan, it was because he wanted Reagan to fight more on some issues — not all, but the elites only want you to digest the occasions where newt attacked from the left and for you to not realize that all along they were pulling Reagan to the left. In spite of all that Reagan had more success against a stacked deck than Oboobi got with a full house. And equally notable, newt got a lot done with a donk potus and a stacked establishment in both houses. That’s the reason for the fear and loathing we see now.

AH_C on January 26, 2012 at 6:42 PM

Gingrich is flawed, Romney’s a fraud.

Romney’s going to lose. I’d rather he lose the nomination, rather than the general election, because that would give us four more years of Obama.

tom on January 26, 2012 at 9:16 PM

The reason we keep talking about this stuff is that none of the candidates can give us a real reason to vote for them. All they can do is tell us why they other candidates are doody-heads. So, instead of talking about the economy or foreign policy or something that would be meaningful, all we get is trivial stuff like this.

Jeff A on January 27, 2012 at 6:46 AM