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The Skeletons in Newt's Closet -- PICTURES The Skeletons in Newt's Closet -- PICTURES

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Election 2012 / Campaign 2012

The Skeletons in Newt's Closet -- PICTURES

December 8, 2011

As the latest front-runner for the Republican candidacy in 2012, Newt Gingrich has returned to relevancy. That rise, however, will inevitably drag up some controversies from time in Washington. In the gallery below, we take a look at the stories that might cause Newt trouble.

CENSURE: Gingrich was the first speaker in House history to be disciplined for ethical wrongdoing. In 1997, the House censured and reprimanded him—while tacking on a $300,000 penalty—after it was revealed that he gave false information to a House Ethics Committee investigation. The vote was an overwhelming 395 to 28.(RON EDMONDS/AP)

SHUTDOWNS: As House speaker, Gingrich played a key role during two partial government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996; he even claimed his party's hard-line attitude was partially owed to a "snub" made by President Clinton against him on a flight to Israel. While Clinton’s approval ratings fell because of the shutdowns, the blame eventually landed on Gingrich and House Republicans—their majority slipped nine seats after the 1996 election.(WILFREDO LEE/AP)

LOBBYING: Although Gingrich has repeatedly claimed that he has never been a lobbyist, he’s made millions of dollars as a consultant. In May, he stepped down as chairman of the Gingrich Group, which helps companies build relationships with state and federal officials, but the company has made nearly $55 million over the last five years.(JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP, FILE)


TIFFANY & CO.: A line of credit at Tiffany & Co. could potentially come back to haunt Gingrich during his campaign, too. Although he closed the account in May, his wife Callista testified that the jewelry account racked up as much as $500,000 in debt in 2005 and 2006.(RICHARD SHIRO/AP)


MANAGERIAL INEPTITUDE?: Over the summer, Gingrich's staff quit en masse after the former speaker decided to go on a vacation rather than begin campaigning in earnest. When he was in government, colleagues questioned his aptitude for government as well.

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