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Being a Washington insider has made Newt Gingrich a wealthy man

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Stephen Morton/AP

(Read caption) Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich greets supporters during a rally at the Jacksonville Landing on Nov. 17 in Jacksonville, Fla.

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Of all the Republican presidential hopefuls, none has been a quintessential Washington figure longer than Newt Gingrich.

After serving 20 years as a member of Congress, including two terms as House speaker, he did not go back home to Georgia, where he had been a history professor. Instead, he kept his hand in the political game, making lots of money in the process – much of it consulting for (or, as others suggest, lobbying on behalf of) major corporations.

In recent days, the list of Mr. Gingrich's big-name clients has continued to grow: mortgage giant Freddie Mac, Microsoft, General Electric, I.B.M., the US Chamber of Commerce, and the pharmaceutical trade group PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America).

As of August, reports the Daily Caller online news site, “Gingrich’s total assets were valued at between $6.7 million and $30.7 million in 2010. He has written 23 books and produced eight documentaries with his wife. He commands between $40,000 and $50,000 per speech.”

By comparison, Mitt Romney’s net worth is estimated to be between $190 million and $250 million held in blind trusts. But at the moment, at least, Gingrich’s wealth and business dealings have become more of a political issue.

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