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GOP Presidential wannabes like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich may preach financial responsibility on the campaign trail but they are deadbeats when it comes to paying their campaign bills.
Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House, owes $4.85 million in unpaid campaign debts. Santorum, a former Senator, has stilled creditors for $1.69 million to date, according to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Huntsman wrote a check for $1.5 million from his personal funds to cover some of his campaign debts after angry vendors hired lawyers and threatened to sue. He stills owes more to others.
Bachmann owes more than $935,000.
A lot of the unpaid bills are held by small businesses who GOP candidates claim they represent.
Republicans aren’t the only ones who stiff those who provided services.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton still owes millions in debts from her failed run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, won two terms in the White House but still owes hundreds of thousands of dollars from both winning campaigns.
“Campaigns often stiff creditors,” one Republican consultant told Capitol Hill Blue.
Normally, the small business owners end up holding the bag. Larger vendors, like telephone companies and airlines, demand huge cash deposits to hold against future bills. Even then, campaigns run short. Early in his 2008 Presidential bid, Republican contender John McCain had to make emergency phone calls when his campaign plane was grounded for unpaid bills.