Huffpost Politics

Mitt Romney Unleashes Freddie Mac Attack, Newt Gingrich Fires Back

Posted: Updated:
Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (C) speaks while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L), and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), look on during the ABC News GOP Presidential Debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (C) speaks while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L), and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), look on during the ABC News GOP Presidential Debate on the campus of Drake University on December 10, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Less than three weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, polls show Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney with strong holds on the top two GOP spots. Their Monday war of words reflected that rivalry, with the pair trading barbs over their consulting histories.

On Monday morning, Romney attacked Gingrich's work at Freddie Mac, calling on him to return the millions he made during his time working for the mortgage giant.

"One of the things that I think that people recognize in Washington is that people go there to serve the people and then they stay there to serve themselves," Romney told Fox News.

Gingrich did not take those words lightly, firing back at Romney's own doings at private equity firm Bain Capital.

"I love the way he and his consultants do these things," Gingrich said. "I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I would be glad to listen to him and I'll bet you $10 dollars -- not $10,000 -- that he won't take the offer."

The $10,000 dig stems from Saturday night's debate, when Romney challenged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a bet aimed at settling their positions on individual healthcare mandates.

Gingrich has been an increasing threat to Romney over the past few weeks, capped by the duo's exchange during Saturday night's debate on how they differ as candidates.

"I understand how the economy works," Romney said, placing himself as a private-sector businessman over a "career politician."

Gingrich jumped on that comment, responding: "Let's be candid. The only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to [Sen.] Teddy Kennedy in 1994."

Around the Web

Mitt Romney: Newt Gingrich Should Return Freddie Mac Money

Newt Gingrich tells Mitt Romney to shut up about Freddie Mac until ...

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich exchange attack lines in New ...

Are Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney Really the Best the GOP Can ...

Romney Calls on Gingrich to Return Freddie Mac Fees

Romney Calls on Gingrich to Return Freddie Mac Consulting Fees

Greed is the issue this time: Romney and Gingrich trade barbs as 3-week sprint ...

Newt Gingrich targeted over policy, personal life in GOP debate

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results