Gingrich: Elections ‘rigged’ for the rich

Former U.S. House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said elections are rigged for the wealthy.

What surprises me about Newt Gingrich’s statement is the fact that a politician on Gingrich’s level would admit that the election is rigged for the rich…period.

Alanta Journal Constitution

Elections are “rigged” for the rich, according to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich, talking to the Rev. Al Sharpton on the minister’s MSNBC television show Tuesday, said campaign finance rules should be changed to allow any American to donate any amount of after-tax personal income they want to give a candidate as long as the donation is reported “every night on the Internet.”

Gingrich, who sought the GOP nomination before dropping out of the race last month, was asked about his Florida primary loss to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney just after beating Romney in South Carolina. Sharpton suggested Gingrich would have won Florida had Romney not outspent him by millions of dollars and if Gingrich had not been the target of relentless attack ads.

Gingrich agreed with Sharpton and used New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an example of how difficult it is to win elections in which a very wealthy person is a rival. He said Bloomberg, a billionaire, has spent “an extraordinary amount of personal money to buy the mayor’s office for the third time.”

“It’s very hard to compete with a billionaire if they get to spend all the money they want and the middle-class candidate’s raising money in $2,500 units,” Gingrich told Sharpton. “So, I think the current system is rigged, frankly, in favor of the wealthy.” Individuals are limited to $2,500 donations in federal campaigns.

The former Georgia congressman said reforming how campaigns are financed would help reduce negative attack ads and increase accountability.

“You would have more accountability and middle-class candidates could balance off rich candidates,” Gingrich told Sharpton.

According to Bankrate.com, an analysis of Gingrich’s latest financial disclosure forms shows his net worth (excluding his primary home) is between $6.7 million and $30.1 million.

Last month, Forbes magazine placed Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, at the top of its list of “America’s Most Indebted Politicians,” saying he left the GOP race for the White House on May 2 owing campaign consultants and vendors $4.3 million.

Forbes said more than $1 million of the debt was for private jet service and $271,775.58 was to Gingrich himself for travel expenses.

One comment

  1. So, the solution would be to let rich people give more to other campaigns?

    Just where is Planet Gingrich where what he’s saying even makes sense?

    I mean … yeah … I get the part about rich candidates being able to underwrite themselves. But how is the solution to that letting candidates find one big sugar-daddy? A truly main-street-level candidate still runs the risk of not gettnig big money.

    Now, if we imposed some real reform such that people were limited as to how much even of their own money they could put into races, then we’d be talking.

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