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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Freddie Mac attack boomerangs on Connie Mack

27

January

Rep. Connie Mack hit the campaign trail this week to bash Gingrich for saying little about his profitable ties to mortgage giant Freddie Mac – a potent issue in foreclosure-racked Florida.

But when it comes to Mack’s profits from Freddie Mac’s cousin agency, Fannie Mae, the congressman was mum.

"What’s important here is what Newt Gingrich did for Freddie Mac," said Mack, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Fort Myers.

The Romney campaign made Gingrich’s estimated $1.6 million Freddie Mac consulting work an issue because it was a two-fer: It showed Gingrich was a Washington insider and it has the potential to stoke voter resentment in a state where one in 360 properties is in foreclosure.

But the attack also had a boomerang effect.

At Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, Gingrich said Romney had made $1 million from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bonds. Romney responded by noting that Gingrich also had invested with the mortgage giant.

And, it turns out, Mack and his wife, California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, have turned a profit as well off Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise that, along with Freddie Mac, is blamed for stoking the mortgage crisis.

Like Romney, their profits were derived from bonds, not stocks. Romney also said his investments were made by a manager of a blind trust.

More here from the Miami Herald's Marco Caputo and Scott Hiaasen.

[Last modified: Friday, January 27, 2012 5:33pm]

    

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