When the former Speaker of the House and historian who isn't a lobbyist ends his crusade against Mitt Romney, it's likely the Comedy Channel will have a slot for him if he can keep coming up with lines like that. Gingrich laid that one on the crowd at a Wednesday stop in Laconia, New Hampshire. It was apparently the opening salvo in the Iowa caucus loser's plan to make Romney's wealth an issue in the next few weeks.
Asked by a reporter if he might buy a summer home in New Hampshire's Lakes Region, where Mitt Romney owns one, Gingrich replied: “No, I can’t afford things like that, I’m not rich.”
The median household income in Laconia, population 15,951, is $44,919, according to the 2010 Census. That was the year when the not-rich Gingrich made at least $2.6 million and had a net worth of at least $6.7 million according to financial disclosure documents filed July 14, 2011. That kind of income might not buy a place the size of two side-by-side Costcos like Romney's Veblenesque palace on Lake Winnipesaukee, but there is plenty of real estate on the lake in Gingrich's price range.
Being out of touch with what's rich and what's not is a long-time affliction of the nation's plutocrats. With less than $7.5 million in the bank, Gingrich isn't alone in thinking he isn't really rich. Surely the citizens of Laconia can empathize.