I love Newt Gingrich's campaign strategy of demanding that the media only hold him accountable for how great he is *right now*. Ignore all those ethical issues in his past tenure as Speaker of the House, he's *now* the only one with leadership skills. Ignore all those infidelities in the past, he loves his wife *now*. Ignore what he said last week about Paul Ryan's budget, he thinks it's the best thing for America *now*. Likewise, *right now* Newt knows exactly how to get us out of the economic crisis we're in because he's debt-free and frugal, just ignore the fact that his own financial dealings have been less than cut and dried.
Bob Schieffer brings up this week's revelation that Callista Gingrich disclosed five years ago an outstanding debt to Tiffany's Jewelers in the six figures. Callista claimed the debt (of somewhere between $250,000 and 500,000) was her husband's. Now, I don't know about you, but I think it's hard to claim understanding the financial concerns of most Americans when you're floating a six figure debt to Tiffany's, but Newt wants you to know that *right now* he and Callista are living frugally and debt-free.
Whew! I'm relieved to know that, aren't you? Except...
Companies run by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich have faced overdue tax bills in four states worth more than $6,000, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press.
The tax liens, which generally allow governments to seize assets or property to settle tax bills, ranged in size from a $195 property tax bill in the Atlanta suburbs to $1,969 in unpaid Missouri taxes. Most of the liens were paid shortly after tax authorities filed them.
One exception was in Pennsylvania, where Gingrich Holdings Inc. last week paid off a $1,599 lien for unpaid corporate income taxes just days before Gingrich formally announced he would run against Democratic incumbent Barack Obama. Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said Gingrich and his firms were unaware of most of the tax liens until being contacted this week by the AP.
And on the subject of being debt free...Newt never really has ever explained where he came up with the money to pay his ethics violation charges. Initially, he said he'd pay it via a $300K loan from Bob Dole, but then the outrage made him back down and offer to pay for it himself. Where that money came from is anyone's guess. Then-wife Marianne Gingrich (Callista was only a little something something on the side) said that the Gingriches were extremely cash-poor in those days and Newt's plan to write a book to cover expenses fell apart.
So where did the money come from? We know that Citizens United donated money to Newt's production company and we know he's raking in cash (some $14 million according to some sources) from donations to various foundations.
Maybe Gingrich ought to release his tax filings so we can see just how frugal and debt-free he is.