Mass exodus: Senior Gingrich campaign aides quit

Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista Gingrich, speaks in Hudson, N.H. Gingrich's campaign manager and numerous other key aides have resigned together, a strong blow to his hopes for the Republican presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)

The entire top echelon of New Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters.

Rick Tyler, the former U.S. House speaker’s spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his campaign headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign.

Scott Rials, a longtime aide who joined the departure, said he doubted Gingrich’s ability to win the nomination.

“I think the world of him. But at the end of the day we just could not see a clear path to win, and there was a question of commitment,” Rials told The Associated Press.

Gingrich, a former Georgia congressman, has long been viewed by even his closest allies as a fountain of policy ideas but a man who is unable to avoid speaking in ways that spark unwelcome controversy.

The former speaker told the group he intended to stay in the race, the officials added. They declined to be identified by name, saying they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.

Gingrich could not be reached for comment immediately.

Even before the sudden departures, Gingrich’s campaign was off to a notably rocky start. Within days of formally announcing he would run, he was assailed by conservatives for criticizing a plan to remake Medicare that Republicans pushed through the House.

He called the author of the plan, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to apologize but did not back off his objections.

Within days, he had dropped from sight, embarking on a cruise to the Greek Isles with his wife, Callista, while rivals for the Republican nomination kept up their campaign appearances.

He returned to the United States earlier in the week to confront a rebellion that had been brewing for some time among the senior echelon of his campaign.

While Gingrich told his now-departed aides he would remain in the race, he faces formidable obstacles in assembling a new team in time to compete in a campaign that’s well under way.

Most immediately, he is scheduled to participate in a debate next Monday in New Hampshire.

Johnson and another key aide, strategist David Carney, joined Gingrich’s campaign after working as senior political staff members for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry ruled out running for the White House earlier in the year, but more recently has said he might reconsider. It was not known whether his former aides were interested in returning to him.

Gingrich, 67, last served in public office more than a decade ago. He resigned as speaker of the House after two terms following an unexpectedly close mid-term election in 1998 in which Republicans gained far fewer seats than he had predicted.

In the years since, he has established a virtual one-man think tank, publishing books and speaking publicly.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

4 Responses to "Mass exodus: Senior Gingrich campaign aides quit"

  1. Rick  June 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    There is that scene in the movie Titanic when the ship is sinking you see thye rats scurrying around. HMS Gingrich is sinking.

  2. Sandune  June 10, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Speaker Gingrich will blame Callista for his loss of campaign workers. Women have always torn poor old Newt off his monolithic ego. It was Callista who booked the cruise and forced poor old Newt into his holding off the start of his campaign.

    Some men have to email his privates to women and some simply have to bow to their obvious superiority. Oh yes, Callista will make Newt pay for his adultery. She too was part of the adultery. I don’t want to watch those two fight hell and damnation while sitting in the White House.

    We saw Gov. Palin treated by her Pastor to undo a voodoo spell. How do we even begin getting this crap out of our government? I sent out a couple of emails this morning thanking some of my old male pals for not sending me pictures of their privates.

    Rick, you are assuming that Gingrich knows he is sinking. He was outed from the Congress for ethics violations. He walks above the rumors which makes him a dangerous person when so few voters bother to check him out. Somehow I feel Callista is not finished with him yet. Go girl go!

    • Carl Nemo  June 10, 2011 at 11:33 am

      “I sent out a couple of emails this morning thanking some of my old male pals for not sending me pictures of their privates.” ….extract from post

      Ha…! Now that’s what I call a preemptive apology. : D

      Prior to the www; I.E., the world of the 70’s and 80′ I remember idiots laying pipe across a Xerox scanner or gals sitting on the copy plate au naturale, then either supplying direct images or faxing them other ‘needy’ hot dogs of the same stripe. Who knows, it’s probably still in vogue regardless of webcams, camera phones etc.

      I also had to laugh at Newt’s hand gesture in the AP photo. Is he bragging again concerning this ‘equipment’. : ))

      Carl Nemo **==

      • Carl Nemo  June 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm

        “…concerning this ‘equipment’. ” …extract from post

        should read:

        “…concerning his equipment.”

        When it comes to Newt, I best get it right…no? / : |

        My apologies.

        Carl Nemo **==

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