(Photo: Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)
He may not admit it as yet but Newt Gingrich’s cup of woes runneth over.
Close on the heels of the resignation of his two most senior fundraising advisers Tuesday and the news that the presidential hopeful’s campaign is $1 million in debt, there is another development, or rather, lack of it.
Gingrich’s campaign refrained from bidding for a lot Thursday to participate in the Ames straw poll event, the national campaign spokesman, R. C. Hammond confirmed with The Des Moines Register in an interview.
Another Gingrich spokesman, Joe DeSantis, confirmed the decision, reported CNN.
The reason Hammond gave for not bidding for the spot was that the campaign wanted to concentrate on strengthening the grassroots organization even as he clarified that it should not be taken to mean that the campaign is on the rocks, the Iowa newspaper reported.
It will be difficult for Gingrich’s campaign to achieve this “grassroots” goal without setting up their own tent on the grassland just outside Hilton Coliseum, which, however, is now all gobbled up by the six other presidential hopefuls.
Among those who have successfully bid for the real estate in Ames are former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Herman Cain, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and the surprise bidder Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
Each of the six Republican campaigns coughed up at least $15,000 dollars to secure their preferred piece of real estate. Ron Paul was the highest bidder for a lot for $31,000 followed by McCotter ($18,000), Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain ($17,000 each), Rick Santorum ($16,000), and Tim Pawlenty ($15,000), The Iowa Republican reported.
“We’re not going to have the type of financial resources some others will have,” Hammond told The Register. “That’s not the type of campaign we will run. We will work to turn people out, not because we have an air conditioned tent but because we have good ideas.”
It is not clear what type of campaign Team Gingrich will, in fact, run, especially after more than a half-dozen members of staff in Iowa left his team citing a difference in campaign strategy.
It is not difficult to see why The Washington Post declared Newt Gingrich “ill-equipped to run.”
On Thursday, Gingrich repeated to Fox News that staff left the team because of a "difference about strategy."
"I think we're in a different environment, like 1980 and 1994. And I think we need a very positive solutions-oriented campaign and one that goes directly to all Americans and is very different from the traditional political campaign. So we had a very big difference," he said. "I think part of it is just that the route I'm taking is a hard route. It's a route that says we're going to talk about very big ideas. We're going to use the Internet, we have a site called Newt.org."
The Ames Straw Poll on August 13 is a major event for presidential candidates and a strong show there can go a long way in building momentum for a campaign, so the Gingrich campaign is not ruling out participation at the straw poll, unlike Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who have decided to skip the event altogether.
Hammond told The Register that the campaign may participate in the event but wasn’t interested in a spending money on a premium spot.
According to current rules, campaigns can still participate in the August 13 even without purchasing lots.