Business leader: Newt was pretty keen on private equity firms two years ago

However inconstant this quote makes Newt Gingrich appear in light of his recent criticisms of a private equity firm, it’s still refreshing somehow. He’s a capitalist at heart! Politico reports:

From Bloomberg TV comes a report that Paul Levy, a managing partner at private equity firm JLL Partners, says Newt Gingrich wasn’t ringing the bell against private equity a few years back.

“Newt Gingrich spoke at my annual meeting two years ago, we paid him $40,000, and this gentleman praised private equity more fulsomely than I could ever do it,” Levy said.  “I can give you a copy of the check.  We paid to the Washington Speakers Bureau for Newt Gingrich to come and speak.  He was great.  He gave a great evening.  Everybody had fun.  He fielded a lot of questions.  He gave us a lot of time.   But nobody praised private equity, risk taking, capital more fulsomely than Newt Gingrich.”

It’s not even that troubling that he said all of that in return for a speaker’s fee. As Gingrich says, “Only the elites despise earning money.” In fact, considering that his attacks on Mitt Romney for his role at Bain Capital have largely backfired on Mr. Gingrich, he probably regrets that he hasn’t maintained the line he took two years ago.