To look closely at Newt Gingrich is to see a failed statesman who pocketed tens of millions of dollars by exploiting his political celebrity and government connections over the past decade or so. Although the former Speaker never registered as a lobbyist, the corporations that financed his “for-profit” think-tank and his consulting firm weren’t simply charmed into writing those enormous checks.
But for Republican primary voters, Gingrich’s blatant buckraking may not be nearly as troubling as what he helped his corporate masters to achieve on Capitol Hill. Having accepted large sums from major drug companies as well as PhRMA, the industry lobbying group, he reportedly helped to push through the Bush administration’s Medicare drug benefit – which is anathema to the right-wing Tea Party voters whose support he is now courting.
Copyright 2011 The National Memo