The questions about Newt Gingrich and the complicated ways he makes money are adding up, as he apparently made millions promoting health care ideas he now opposes as a candidate.
According to a report from The Washington Post, an arm of Ginrich's think tank called the Center for Health Transformation collected $37 million over the last eight years from various health care and insurance companies that paid hundreds of thousands of in membership dues to secure "direct New interaction." During that time the center promoted the idea that individuals who make more than $50,000 a year be required to buy health insurance.
The news is problematic for Gingrich in two ways. First, it adds to latest line of attack from the left, that he's a shill for corporate interests who sells his high-level contacts and access to anyone who can pay. Two, it undermines his support on the right by implying that he once supported initiatives that became key planks of President Obama's hated health care reform bill. He's already been attacked on that score by Mitt Romney, who implemented an individual mandate in Massachusetts and claimed he got the idea from Gingrich. Both candidates now say they don't support the federal mandate.
It's just one of several critical stories this week that been critical of Gingrich's consulting work since leaving Congress. Unfortunately, for Newt, the standard "the establishment media is out to get me, because I'm growing more popular" defense is less effective than it is for other candidates since the stories only underscore the notion that in the Republican field, Ginrich is the "establishment" candidate.