1. ON THE DEFENSIVE

    Gingrich Welcomes Freddie Mac Scrutiny

    PELLA, IA - NOVEMBER 1:  Former Speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich smiles during a forum on manufacturing November 1, 2011 at Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella, Iowa. Five of the Republican candidates, excluding Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romeny who declined to come, are slated to appear at the forum.   (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)

    Steve Pope / Getty Images

    Newt Gingrich isn't about to let his business past thwart his rise in the GOP polls. Responding to a report from Bloomberg News that said the former House speaker banked between $1.6 million and $1.8 million consulting for Freddie Mac, Gingrich told reporters in Des Moines on Wednesday that he "did no lobbying of any kind" and welcomed an investigation. "Everybody will dig up everything they can dig up," he said. "That's fine. They should." He reiterated what he has said in the past about whether he was hired at the company to build bridges to Capitol Hill, saying only that he offers "strategic advice for a lot of different companies."

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