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Politics Today: Jon Stewart On Gingrich Debate Hypocrisy, Most Expensive Senate Race Ever?, And More

Tracy Bloom |
January 24, 2012 | 11:34 a.m. PST

Deputy Editor

Romney Offers $1.6 Million "Reward" For Gingrich Freddie Mac Contract: Mitt Romney's campaign is making a big deal out of Newt Gingrich's connection to Freddie Mac in Florida, a state that has been hit hard by the housing crisis. Yesterday, Gingrich released his 2006 contract - making some wonder what happened to his contracts from the rest of the time he was supposedly providing "consulting and related services" for the mortgage giant. Gingrich reportedly held contracts with Freddie Mac from 1999 to 2008. Now the Romney campaign is pouncing on the missing records, sending out an email to supporters offering a $1.6 million "reward" to anyone who can find the missing documents. And based on the tax documents Romney released today, we know he can afford to pony up.

Where Are Gingrich's Endorsements?: Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote a pretty scathing editorial about Newt Gingrich for CNN.com. In it, Frum points out how "striking" it is that Gingrich's ex colleagues in Congress aren't rushing to endorse the former House Speaker. Writes Frum: "The reaction to Gingrich's poll surge in December was panic among senior Republicans, and the panic is only intensifying now. It's striking that almost none of Gingrich's former colleagues in the House has endorsed him for president. Striking that nobody associated with a past Republican presidential association has done so."

Gingrich Wants Audience Participation At Debates: One thing notably absent at last night's Florida GOP debate: audience participation. That's because the crowd was under strict order from debate moderator Brian Williams not to interfere. On Tuesday, Gingrich lashed out at Williams for keeping the audience quiet. "I wish, in retrospect, I protested when Brian Williams took them out of it, because I think it's wrong," Gingrich told Fox News "And I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they've done in every debate." Gingrich has vowed to skip any future debates in which the audience is not allowed to participate.

Massachusetts Senate Race To Be Most Expensive Ever?: The Massachusetts Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren could be the most expensive congressional race of all time. The most expensive congressional campaign ever was the New York Senate race in 2000 between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Rick Lazio. The two campaigns spent a combined total of $70 million. According to the post, however, there is reason to believe the Brown-Warren race could exceed that figure. "With the two approaching $25 million raised at the end of 2011, they would need to raise and spend another $45 million in 2012 to break the record." The Washington Post reported. "Put simply: Even if it’s not probable, it’s possible."

Stewart Speaks Out On Gingrich South Carolina Debate Hypocrisy: Jon Stewart rarely gets as upset as he did last night while addressing the South Carolina debate on last night's "The Daily Show." Stewart took umbrage with a comment Gingrich made to moderator made Jon King, who had just asked him about his second-wife's accusation that he asked her for an "open marriage." Gingrich angrily responded that the question was "as close to despicable as anything [he] can imagine." "I think you've got a pretty good imagination, 'despicability' wise," said Stewart, referring to Gingrich's penchant to have extra-marital affairs. Stewart continued: "All [King] has to do is point out the hypocrisy of a family values crusader who presided over Congress at the time of the Republicans' 'Clinton penis scavenger hunt' suddenly finding that kind of questioning of a Presidential candidate unseemly! Point out that [Gingrich] insists that gay people would sully the sanctity of marriage -- whilst being a career marriage sully-er!" Watch the full clip:

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