Later that month [April 2007], Gingrich also gave a “feature interview” that appeared on Freddie Mac’s website providing an extensive Q&A where the former Speaker of the House defended the government-sponsored enterprise model, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.
Gingrich went so far as to say that “I’m convinced that if NASA were a GSE, we probably would be on Mars today.”
Freddie Mac declined to comment. A Gingrich spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The housing GSEs have made an important contribution to homeownership and the housing finance system,” Gingrich said in the interview. “We have a much more liquid an stable housing finance system than we would have without GSEs. So while we need to improve the regulation of the GSEs, I would be very cautious about fundamentally changing their role or the model itself.”
Further Gingrich acknowledged that this is not a viewpoint conservatives normally embrace. “Well, it’s not a point of view libertarians would embrace,” he said in the interview. “But I am more in the Alexander Hamilton-Teddy Roosevelt tradition of conservatism. I recognize that there are times when you need government to help spur private enterprise and economic development.”
Full piece here. This piece was e-mailed to reporters by the Romney campaign, a sign that Mitt Romney will no doubt continue to push this issue in the next few days. Today, for instance, Romney campaigned in front of a vacant home in a Florida neighborhood that had been badly impacted by the foreclose crisis — and used the opportunity to attack Gingrich for his Freddie Mac works, reports the New York Times.