Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Monday that he thinks rival Newt Gingrich should return the money he earned advising Freddie Mac and stepped up his criticism of the former House speaker as a Washington insider.
In an appearance on Fox News' Fox and Friends, Romney drew attention to the fact that Gingrich initially claimed he had only earned $300,000 from the mortgage giant, and that his advice was based on his experience as a historian.
"He said $300,000, and he was there as an historian. That would make him the highest-paid historian in history," Romney quipped.
Romney went on to criticize Gingrich as a creature of the Washington establishment. "He was in the business of connecting folks with government, he was on K Street," the former Massachussets governor said, referring to the storied Washington street where many lobbyists have offices.
“One of the things that I think people recognize in Washington is that people go there to serve the people and then they stay there to serve themselves," Romney said.
Asked by an interviewer whether Gingrich should return the $1.6 million he earned from Freddie Mac, Romney replied, “Boy, I sure do.”
He also criticized Gingrich’s recent statements on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Gingrich should not attempt to speak for Israel, an American ally, Romney said.
“It shows a level of, uh, let’s say, erratic outspokenness that may be great in a campaign, but is not great for someone who is running for president of the United States,” he said.