As Newt Gingrich rises in the polls, there is increased scrutiny on his candidacy. Bloomberg News reports that Gingrich made at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from two contracts with the mortgage lender Freddie Mac. Bloomberg reports that Gingrich was paid to consult the corporation on a program to expand home ownership. Gingrich maintains that he never lobbied for the company. At the CNBC debate last week, the former House speaker said he warned company executives that reckless loans would inevitably lead to a collapse. He said, "My advice as a historian, when they walked in and said to me, 'We are now making loans to people who have no credit history and have no record of paying back anything, but that's what the government wants us to do.' As I said to them at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible. "
However, former Freddie Mac executives are disputing Gingrich’s account. Since his relationship with the company ended in 2008, Gingrich has been very critical of both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, blaming the two for causing the subprime mortgage crisis. In his book, “To Save America,” Gingrich slams the two government sponsored enterprises for “irresponsible lending policies” and suggests replacing them with private institutions that don’t focus on “manipulating politicians.”