Gingrich fascinated by Romney computer wipe

November 19, 2011

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.)


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There was no “computer wipe.” Romney’s staff bought their own hard drives with their personal funds.

The Obama machine is so desperate to turn the news cycle away from Obama’s abysmal record on the economy and his promise that if he didn’t improve the economy in three years, he’d be a one-term president.

Keep your promise President Obama!

Posted by JamesAquinas | Report as abusive

He did not directly promise to improve economy, he promised change.

Posted by Karen_Roberts | Report as abusive

Pretty smart, actually! Make the Dems sift through the 800 pounds of paperwork in state archives to find nothing instead of clicking a mouse. It’s wodoing opting that they actually have been sifting through those boxes for years, and have found nothing. Mitt 2012!

Posted by JedMM | Report as abusive

Romney admitted today during an interview with the Nashua Telegraph in New Hampshire that his administration deleted emails because they didn’t want “opposition research teams” to have access to them.

Romney clearly broke precedent with the hard drive buybacks, as staffers for previous administration called the purchases “unheard of.” Terry Dolan, who worked in six previous administrations in the state, told the Boston Globe, “That had never happened prior to the end of the Romney administration. I don’t remember anybody buying their hard drives. I don’t remember anybody buying anything.”

I’m sure Romney checked with his legal advisors to make sure they were not technically violating any laws, but wiping servers and taking hard drives sounds like something the Cheney administration would have done.

Posted by SteveoOOo | Report as abusive