Rep. Michele Bachmann, dragging near the bottom of most polls, has become largely irrelevant on the campaign trail after winning August's Iowa straw poll. But on Thursday, she distinguished herself by leveling one of the sharpest attacks yet seen during the 13 presidential debates, criticizing Newt Gingrich as an “influence peddler” for advising mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Referring to Freddie and fellow mortgage giant Fannie Mae, Bachmann said: “I was trying to see these two entities put in bankruptcy because they frankly need to go away when the speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior Republicans."
The issue has dogged Gingrich for weeks, and he once again denied he had ever lobbied on Freddie's behalf. But the Minnesota Republican didn’t let up.
“You don't need to be within the technical definition of being a lobbyist to still be influence-peddling with senior Republicans in Washington, D.C., to get them to do your bidding,” she said. “And the bidding was to keep the grandiose scam of Freddie Mac going.
“That is something that our nominee can't stand for,” the congresswoman said. “We have to shut down the government enterprises. We have to end them. It's shocking that he is saying that.”
Bachmann’s attacks likely won’t return her to the race’s top-tier, but they will put a smile on Mitt Romney’s face. The former Massachusetts governor, second in the national polls, can benefit greatly when other candidates attack the front-runner.