While on the campaign trail, today, Mitt Romney pretended that Newt is guilty of stretching the truth when it comes to details about ethics sanctions, in 1994. Speaking of Gingrich and his so-called "Speaker scandal," Romney reminded his audience of Newt's claim to be a historian. He then followed that reminder with this comment, "But he [Newt] doesn't get to rewrite history." Mitt then used that statement as a segue to a more potent rhetorical attack on Newt and, in so doing, Romney, himself, rewrote the record on the supposed "Speaker scandal" of 1997. In mounting his attack, Mitt presented the "facts" of the scandal as reported by Tom Brokaw, NBC newscaster, himself a partisan hack from the Left. The video has the 30 second portion of the NBC broadcast used by Romney in his current campaign against Gingrich.
You should know that NBC and Tom Brokaw have demanded that Romney cease and desist from the use of this video blub.
More importantly, we now have enough reliable information as regards the Newt "Speaker scandal" to know that it is a falsified story, for the most part. This post will give the truth of this matter as substantiated by liberals and conservatives alike. Just tonight, on the Judge Jeanine show (Jan 29,2012, FoxNews), guests from both sides of the aisle agreed that the Brokaw report was inaccurate and Romney's reiteration of the NBC report is unfair.
You have the Brokaw misrepresentation, and, here are the facts:
Gingrich came into the Speakership because of the 1994 sweep of the House and Senate, by the GOP, a victory that was more the doing of Newt Gingrich than any other single politician of the day.
Let that fact sink in for just a moment.
This was the first time in 40 years the Democrats did not "rule the roost" and they were as vindictive and angry, then, as they are today. Newt was literally hated by the Democrat minority which included an embittered Nancy Pelosi. Just 10 years after this reprimand, she would take over the Speakership of the House (1997) and rule the House as a dictator. In 2011 she was accused of insider trading in which she and her husband took in more than $200,000 in profits. But, I digress.
Back to Newt. Again, the 1990's conservative revolution was more the handiwork of Gingrich than any other Republican..
That is a fact. As a result, he was elected Speaker and began the task of implementing his "Contract with America." He was hardly the poster boy for the Establishment GOP and, with the passing of time, became very unpopular with that wing of the party, as well.
As a side bar, you should know that in 1989, Newt orchestrated events in the House that lead to the resignation of, then, Speaker, Jim Wright (D-TX). The 1997 vote was retaliation for that circumstance as well as the Gingrich lead defeat of the Democrats in the midterm elections of '94.
Understand that there are sanctions, reprimands, and censor available to the Ethics Committee when dealing with so-called ethics violations. "Sanctions" are the least critical and this is what all four Democrats and three of the four Republicans voted to enforce. There was no “fine,” as Newt's enemies call it. Rather, Newt agreed to reimburse the committee for part of the cost of the investigation and his share was $300,000.
The charge, itself, had to do with notion that Newt had received money from the GOPAC fund, as pay for a college course Gingrich taught. What is never mentioned in the telling of this tale, is the fact that the IRS did, in fact, investigate this charge, a charge that amounted to embezzlement, and found the Speaker completely innocent. Also, Newt's enemies fail to mention that he ran for Speaker in 1998, following the conclusion of the "scandal," and won re-election. He resigned in 1999 because the victory did not include enough of a majority to overcome the Democrat opposition. Gingrich had done all that he could, and resigned his membership in the House and moved into the private sector. A related article in the Washington Post gives confirmation to all this.
By now, in this primary campaign, Mitt Romney should know the truth of the matter, but he continues to tell the Tom Bokaw version. In my opinion, such is a deliberate lie and Romney should move away from this story line.