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Dept. of Unwanted Endorsements: Convict Cunningham Backs Gingrich Dept. of Unwanted Endorsements: Convict Cunningham Backs Gingrich

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Dept. of Unwanted Endorsements: Convict Cunningham Backs Gingrich

It’s the kind of backing no one wants.

From his prison cell in Arizona, former GOP Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham wrote a letter in December – in all caps – to onetime colleague Newt Gingrich embracing the former speaker’s bid for president and offering a few political pointers.

 

“I have 80 percent of inmates that would vote for you. They might not be able to but their extended families will,” Cunningham wrote, in a missive posted by Voice of San Diego. They’ve posted the full letter here.

Cunningham, who was sentenced to more than eight years in prison after taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors, said that “when you are president I could help you with prison and justice reform if wanted.”

Cunningham insisted, “I do not want anything from you” in the opening paragraph of his letter from “a voice out of the past.” He later acknowledged that “I do not expect a reply, Newt, and my endorsement would do more harm than good.”

 

As for chief rival Mitt Romney, Cunningham recommended that Gingrich take him to task over how business experience is different from governing. He ticked off a list of late 1990s accomplishments of the GOP-controlled House, in case Gingrich had forgotten, and closed with “You gave this nation its surplus Newt. You did it.”

 

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