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Why is Christie bringing up the Gingrich 1997 ethics charges?

It’s simple, Mitt Romney is his man. Gov. Chris Christie made the comment yesterday that Newt was damaged goods and specifically mentioned the 1997 ethics charges when he was speaker of the US House of Representatives. I’ve got a big problem with this, but I guess everyone is worried about perception, since nobody seems interested in facts.

Christie starts his critique of Gingrich by mentioning he does not think we need another legislator in office. He has a good point and I’ve also mentioned my preference for someone with business experience as well as experience as a state governor and/or military experience. He then mentions Gingrich was never able to do anything right while House speaker. That’s not true at all. Talking back the House in 1996 was a big deal, as was sitting down with then President Bill Clinton to get welfare reform done was certainly a big deal. Balanced budgets was a big deal.

Then Christie goes off the rails. He says Gingrich has “embarrassed the party” and Gov. Mitt Romney never has. What the heck is the big man smoking? I’ll discuss Gingrich’s ethics issues after the clip, but come on … Romney has made a total fool of himself when it comes to two conservative principals while governor of Massachusetts, gun control and the health care mandate. There is nothing conservative about his actions in Massachusetts concerning gun control or health care … nothing.

Back to Gingrich.

The 80 some-odd ethics violations were mostly rumors and innuendoes. I’m not saying there was nothing to look at, but in hindsight we’ve learned that Gingrich was partially railroaded. When the House convicts you on one ethics charge and in 1999 the IRS cleared the organization associated with Gingrich and the charge noting that no tax laws were broken.

Mark Levin noted tonight that Christie deserved to be in front of an ethics panel himself … remember that helicopter ride to his kids baseball game? Well, that was a HUGE embarrassment for conservatives, yet Christie gets to go on TV and chastise Gingrich?

Look, I’m not saying Gingrich is pure … far from it … but for Christie to bring up this bull, at this time is just wrong. Don’t try to pull a snow job on me governor, I’ve got a snow blower in the garage. Gingrich had a point last week in South Carolina when he mentioned this rhetoric really keeps good people away from public service. Why would any normal person want to put up with this?

Oh, and “this’ is not new at all … it’s been happening in politics for decades, maybe even hundreds of years. The Internet has just made more information available. Such is politics today.

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38 Responses to "Why is Christie bringing up the Gingrich 1997 ethics charges?"

  1. jesichashope says:

    When you start airing dirty laundry, fresh dirt or old dirt; one must consider who is airing it and why.  No one with a good sense would do so without it benefiting themselves or someone else. Christy obviously desires Mitt; and it makes me wonder about his conservatism.
    Whether I believe neither is a good choice, the current resident of the big house, is lacking in Americanism and patriotism; putting this into perspective, there are fewer and fewer choices, leaving us with a decision of Newt and Mitt; decidedly Newt being the better of the two with all positives of each on the table and the negatives lined up.
    Mitt’s track record, in conservative standards, in MA was nowhere near my idea of conservative thinking and left the state with under funded programs, causing higher taxation to fund them. God knows no social program would ever be tossed out for lack of funding.
    Newt has his issues, but we know him, we know his issues, better to know what we are getting than be surprised. Mitt surprises us. Obama knocks us over with his surprises. We need at least a constant. Not a great choice but unless Reagan descends from heaven, this is what we are faced with.  Of course, an independent, that rises up as…

    • JBS says:

      Something occurred to me while viewing the comments posted here and Christie’s bombast.
      Could Christie be positioning himself to be palatable as a Vice-president candidate?
      Sooner rather than later, the choice of VP running mate is going to have to be addressed. Christie needs to have his thumb out hoping to catch of a ride to the WH.

  2. Tim-in-Alabama says:

    I think Christie brought the old charges up because the Romney camp is getting a little panicky and fearful he’s going to lose the nomination again, despite his millions, despite his organization, and despite his liberal use of hair care products.

  3. joe_m says:

    Neither Newt nor Mitt are conservatives, so either way we are “left” with a less than good choice.

    Always voting for the lesser of 2 evils, never voting for a candidate. Just once I would like to vote for someone for president.

  4. Lynn says:

    Newt was cleared of all the charges, all of the papers(900 pages) are on the web for anyone to read. To compare Newt with his record of balancing the budget and getting things done to the Community Organizer currently in the WH, is just silly. I love Christie, but people who shoot from the hip (and that is often me as well) sometimes say silly things.  He just has such wonderful sound bites and is so well loved the Press will always go to him.

  5. Lynn says:

    BTW, can I borrow your snow blower? We don’t have one and I got tired shoveling my walks after this snow.

  6. phil says:

    Let’s cut to the chase.  Job one is to get that big eared Marxist out of the White House while it’s still standing.  And while we still have a Constitution.  I support Gingrich, Romney, Paul,  and, for that matter, Sponge Bob Squarepants!  Miss Carter yet?

  7. Publius says:

    Steve,

    Newt Gingrich led the Republicans back to the House Majority in 1994.  I agree with you that Gov Christie’s (and Gov romney’s) attack is specious. The other thing to remember is that the one ethics charge of which they voted to reprimand him for was related to building the conservative movement and the Republican party in a college course. The only issue was that tax exempt status for the course was deemed inappropriate because it was political. the reality is that the Democrats were desperate to get rid of him because he changed the terms of the debate in Washington and finally forced the Democrats to debate and vote on the issues on Republican terms. The reason they came after him is because of his success at implementing conservative ideas.

  8. SeeingRed says:

    Steve – all good points.  I think Newt has held back on his defense of the ’99 violation (which is two years later, the IRS deemed the action Newt was accused of to be completely legal, but why let facts get in the way?).

    Getting The One with the Kenyan roots on a plane back to wherever it is he calls home (Hawaii, Jakarta, Chicago, Nairobi – wherever) this November is JOB ONE.

  9. johnboy111 says:

    let’s stop beating each other up..let’s go after Barry only///when the media askes a stupid question just say..with unemployment at 9%ish or the defict @16trillion..you want to know about what????????

  10. Anne-EH says:

    Well Gov. Christie is simply is doing what Mr. Romney will not do, go on attack mode against Mr. Newt.

  11. sammy22 says:

    Just for the record, I read that Newt paid a $300,000 fine for ethics violations:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/leadership/ethics.htm

    • Dimsdale says:

      Hmm.  The first (latest) entry in that list indicates that the IRS exonerated Gingrich of the charges made by the special counsel for the “ethics” committee.
       
      Maybe Gingrich should sue to get the money back….

  12. zedgar2 says:

    Christie has said he supports Romney so of course he would identify concerns about Newt particularly after Newt went nuclear on Romney about Bain. Newt’s Bain charges were direct challenges to Romney’s character and integrity; Christie is simply saying that this is the pot calling the kettle black (libs: no racist meaning intended).  Secondly, Newt may not have crossed the line of illegality but he did admit to wrongdoing. Third, the vote in the House on that charge was not even close: 395-28 so while the investigation was partisan the final result was not. Fourth, Newt has a history of holier than thou stances – i.e., Newt can criticize and chastise other candidates but will chew the head off anybody who raises similar concerns about him. Remember that he relentlessly pursued ethics charges against Democrat Speaker Wright for a book deal – at the very time that Newt had his own book deal whereby $100,000 in publicity expenses to promote the book were paid by political supporters with profits from the book deal going to Newt. So the character issue here is not just about ethics – it’s also about Newt’s blatant hypocrisy (including situations of which we are told we can not speak).  Fifth, Newt himself said that questions…

  13. zedgar2 says:

    To finish: Newt himself has said that questions need to be raised about the candidates now so that we can vet them – or did he mean we should only vet the other candidates? Newt set the table on this; he simply doesn’t like being one of the courses being served.

  14. sammy22 says:

    Dims, read it a little more carefully. The IRS did not exonerate Gingrich. And Newt mislead the Ethics Committee.

  15. Linda Mae says:

    Just heard Charles K explain that Newt paid the ethics violation fee and then continued in his role for another 2 years!!!   It was NOT a cause effect situation.  Plus – we forget Al Sharpton and his ethics problems – or Maxine Waters – both conveniently swept under the carpet and ignored by the press.  Whatever the violation was, it wasn’t enough to force him to leave – wasn’t the Congress Democratically controlled then?  Need to check on that.

  16. zedgar2 says:

    Linda, you are correct that Romney is making a direct connection that he shouldn’t.  But Christie clearly didn’t.  Politifact (at http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2012/jan/23/did-gingrich-leave-speakership-disgrace/ ) concludes that the ethics situation was a contributing factor but not the primary driver. Interesting, though, that the first coup attempt was in 1997 which indicates that it took less than 3 years for the bloom to be off his rose.

  17. sammy22 says:

    This is in one of the links you gave, Dims: “Gingrich also admitted that he had provided “inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable” information to Ethics Committee investigators. “

    • Lynn says:

      Ok, since I am volunteering for Newt’s campaign, I have dug as far as I can on this.  In 1999, CNN Investigative Reporter Brooks Jackson remarked on air “it turns out (Gingrich) was right & those who accused him of tax fraud were wrong” The video is from Town Hall but it has the text and the video of Peter Brooks from CNN (not RIGHT by any means.
      http://townhall.com/tipsheet/greghengler/2012/01/23/video_1999_cnn_report_on_newt_gingrichs_exoneration_by_the_irs_over_ethics_charges 

    • Lynn says:

      The admission by Gringrich that you are referring to was: 1 remaining charge had to do with contradictory documents prepared by Newt’s lawyer supplied during the investigation. Newt took responsibility and reimbursed the committee the cost of the investigation for that discrepancy. Not wanting to point fingers I will NOT say that Clinton did not reimburse the Impeachment Committee for the time it took for them to investigate that he lied to the Nation. ( Oh I just pointed fingers LOL)

    • Dimsdale says:

      Sounds stupid to me too!  But the fact remains that the charges were effectively cleared by the IRS investigation.

    • crystal4 says:

      Guess he doesn’t read those “facts and figures” he provides.

      • Dimsdale says:

        Your replies are cute, but wrong.  See the replies and read what the IRS concluded yourself.
         
        Shall I look forward to the usual empty space or a topic change?  ;-)

      • Dimsdale says:

        Let me help: From the WP (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/leadership/stories/gingrich123198.htm): “Gingrich, who also was reprimanded by the House two years ago, admitted he misled the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and should have sought better legal advice before using tax-exempt organizations to advance his political goals.”
         
        After the IRS probe, WP says (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/leadership/stories/gingrich020499.htm): “The IRS, concluding a three-year investigation, ruled that the Progress and Freedom Foundation’s donations to Gingrich were “consistent with its stated exempt purposes,” and Gingrich’s course and course book “were educational in content.”
         
        So how do you mislead someone about something you didn’t do?  Maybe he wasn’t sure about the legality and copped a plea, but the fact (yes, fact, crystal!) remains: the IRS cleared him and the organization that sponsored his classes and course book “clean bill of health.”
         
        So if the “misleading” was actually the truth, and let’s assume unintentional, where is the wrongdoing?

      • zedgar2 says:

        Dimsdale – I think what Gingrich admitted to what providing inaccurate and misleading info on whether Gopac had provided any funding for the course, it’s promotion, logistics, etc. Newt said they didn’t but they in fact had. Newt blames this on his attorneys but his attorneys say that Newt signed off in writing on every submission.

      • Dimsdale says:

        It was my understanding that the charge was the course was being used (illegally) to politically promote Gingrich.  The IRS said this was not the case.

  18. NH-Jim says:

    Now I know why tigers eat their young.
    (Actually not!)
    It is time for a third party; a party of true conservatives (and, yes, libertarians).

  19. Moe says:

    Chris has too much time on his hands. He’d be better off spending some of it at OA meetings.

  20. sammy22 says:

    Sounds like Christie has been knocked off the pedestal on which he was placed not long ago by a long list of commentators here, starting with Jim.

  21. Lynn says:

    First of all, No one on this blog puts anyone in a political office on a pedestal. They rip and slash every politician apart, BOTH parties. The only people who put anyone on a pedestal are President Obama supporters. They never find fault with any of the idiotic policies that man follows. Or his appointees like that pitiful excuse for a man Holder. As for OA comment, I have learned to be PC from you two and I would never make fun of fat people. That would be discrimination, LOL

  22. sammy22 says:

    WOW, Lynn. I have expressed many times my displeasure with Pres. Obama and the Dems in Congress. I have also noted how quickly commentators on this blog have rushed to defend the Repubs, many times by simply turning things around and pointing the finger on some Dem in office or not.

    • Dimsdale says:

      Most of the time, we are countering the delusional “Bush did it” syndrome, which continues to this day.

  23. Lynn says:

    I am not pointing fingers at you Sammy. I was speaking about President Obama supporters in general. Frankly, I do not necessarily think of you as an Obama supporter. The miscommunication came because I tied the two sentences together. You can be PC sometimes, Right? I am horrid at PC, I freely admit it.

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