Gingrich fascinated by Romney computer wipe
Republican Newt Gingrich had not heard of a controversy surrounding some of the final actions of rival Mitt Romney’s staff when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, but suggested the ploy might even turn up in one of his books in the future.
The Boston Globe reported this week that when Romney was leaving the statehouse in 2006 after one term as governor, eleven of his staff were allowed to use their own money to purchase their work computers’ hard drives, and the Romney administration’s emails were all wiped from a server.
“They did what?” Gingrich said when asked about it at a press conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after a film screening. “I’m now in non-candidate mode, of simply being curious as a citizen.”
Gingrich said he had “no idea” what Romney or his staff might have hoped to achieve, adding, “you should ask him that.”
“As a novelist, by the way, it’s a lot of fun,” he added.
Romney, campaigning in New Hampshire on Friday, said he and his staff “followed the law as intended and as written.”
The Romney campaign has attempted to use the controversy as a fundraising tool. Campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent an email late on Friday linking Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, an ally of Barack Obama, with the computer story.
“It is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama reelection campaign,” Rhoades wrote to Patrick, demanding copies of any correspondence between Patrick’s staff and Obama’s aides from 2007 onward.
PHOTO CREDIT: REUTERS/Adam Hunger (Newt Gingrich speaks as his wife, Callista, looks on at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 18, 2011.)