For the past several weeks, Presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have been engaged in a “who made more doing what” debate that one might concede plays right into the philosophy of the 99 percent.
Gingrich has consistently and vehemently attacked Romney for his lucrative tenure at Bain Capital, the investment firm involved in saving companies such as Staples and Sports Authority but also in laying off workers at companies it did not save. The former House Speaker, who released his tax returns right before the South Carolina primary, also attacked Romney for failing to do the same.
“The country deserves accountability and transparency,” Gingrich said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “I’m going to try to set the example to provide the leadership to do the right thing.”
Romney bowed to the political pressure and released his tax returns this week, which reveal he is indeed part of the 1 percent. The documents indicate that the candidate paid $6.2 million in taxes on about $42.5 million in income for 2010 and 2011, according to MSNBC.
Now, Romney has issued a statement raising questions about the relationship that Gingrich had with housing giant Freddie Mac and offering a $1.6 million reward for more information. Gingrich released only one year’s contract; Romney wants to know more.
Gail Gitcho, Romney communications director, said:
Newt Gingrich’s Freddie Mac contract raises more questions than answers. His secrecy about his lobbying for Freddie Mac is troubling. No amount of bluster will hide the fact that Newt had his hand in Freddie Mac to the tune of $25,000 a month. The bursting housing bubble helped lead to the current economic crisis and Newt Gingrich has his fingerprints all over it. His shifting explanations amount to a shell game with the truth. Speaker Gingrich needs to fully disclose his work as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac.
According to Reuters, the efforts of the two candidates to make one another appear as fat-cat crony capitalists are playing into the hands of the Barack Obama campaign, which has plans to use Bain-fodder to attack Romney.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) released a statement earlier this month chiding Republicans who attack Republicans for embracing free-market ideas and capitalism, playing the same game as the left:
I am disturbed by recent developments in the Presidential race. These attacks, using the class warfare language of the far left and the demagoguery of Chicago politics, go against the core of our political philosophy. Republicans are proud of hard work and success. We encourage job creators. We applaud success in capitalism.