1. FIGHTING WORDS

    Gingrich: Mortgage Money Went to Firm

    Scott Olson / Getty Images

    Are all those attacks on Newt Gingrich finally starting to take a toll? The newly minted Republican frontrunner tried to fight back Saturday against claims that he took money from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while admitting the recent attacks lobbed against him by his rivals have begun to take a toll. Gingrich said he “just wanted to set the record straight,” and that the $1.6 million in payments he received over a six-year period went mainly to overhead costs for his firm and not directly to him. In a teleconference with his Iowa supporters, Gingrich said the “extraordinary negativity of the campaign” had taken a toll, such as Romney on Friday blasting the money Gingrich received as reward for lobbying. Meanwhile, an Iowa Super PAC called Rescue the Perishing began leafleting that Gingrich is “pro-abortion,” which also hit Rick Santorum on the same charges.

    Read it at Reuters