Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich had some eyebrow-raising appearance requests before he began his 2012 presidential run, including two bathrooms and a $50,000 fee.
The former House Speaker's appearance contract required the coverage of "first class expenses," according to The Smoking Gun. Gingrich insisted on flying first class and having a "non-smoking one-bedroom suite" for overnight stays.
The New York Times reports that Gingrich "has spent less time at traditional campaign events and more time on television than almost any of his rivals."
Opponents are mining his lengthy Washington career -- he was an elected official and then a sought-after consultant -- for ammunition as they try woo an electorate that views experience in Washington as unsavory.
Such criticism comes as a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Gingrich with 33 percent support in Iowa, with Paul and Romney at 18 percent. It's similar to other polls in Iowa and elsewhere that show Gingrich with a lead.
Given the gulf, rivals are turning to the long paper trail of Gingrich's quotes and votes from his two decades in the House as well as his lucrative consultant business after leaving office in 1999. There also are the circumstances surrounding the ethics investigation he faced, an issue that has not yet been examined anew but certainly will in the coming weeks.
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