In September 2008, as the U.S. Congress "was debating the first financial bailout, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went on Fox News to decry how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had so 'many politicians beholden to them' that no one would step up to protect the American taxpayers," notes Muckety.com. But, as it turns out, Freddie Mac paid Gingrich $300,000 in 2006, "to push back against tough, new regulations of the mortgage company at a time the Bush administration was concerned about how big the two government-backed mortgage giants had become." After taking the money, Gingrich "talked and wrote about what he saw as the benefits of the Freddie Mac business model," reported the Associated Press. The Gingrich hire was part of an effort to woo conservatives; Freddie Mac also hired Frank Luntz and the DCI Group in 2005. Freddie Mac spent $11.7 million on outside lobbyists and consultants in 2006; 17 firms focused on Republicans, while four focused on Democrats. Freddie also hired Gingrich in 1999, "to provide strategic counsel," notes TPMMuckraker.
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