Gingrich Loses Two More Aides; Campaign $1M in Debt

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By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
June 21, 2011|11:29 pm

Less two weeks after several senior advisors walked away from Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign, two more aides quit.

Fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman are the latest to leave Gingrich's staff, reports campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.

Similar to the June 9 departures, the news reportedly signals problems with the presidential hopeful's campaign affairs.

An anonymous source close to the former speaker of the house’s operations told The Associated Press that Gingrich's campaign is $1 million in debt. The debt reportedly comes from large travel bills. Additionally, money has only been trickling into the campaign, reported USA Today.

Gingrich has about a half-dozen people dedicated to raising money for the campaign, reports Politico. As a possible indication of the campaign's struggles, Hammond told Politico that Gingrich himself is dialing for dollars.

A little more than a week ago, many of Gingrich's senior advisors resigned together. At least seven employees working in battleground states Iowa and South Carolina left his team citing a difference in campaign strategy.

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Disgruntled workers described Gingrich as non-committal about going out on the campaign trail.

The former speaker of the house reportedly told his staff he wanted to use technology and stand out in debate appearances rather than commit to traditional campaigning, grassroots organizing and other methods.

Former Iowa campaign manager Craig Schoenfeld also told USA Today that Gingrich was unwilling to put in the time commitment needed to raise money for a campaign and to get to know voters.

Aides said the last straw was an unadvised cruise to the Greek Isles with his wife Callista during the last week of May. Gingrich's absence was felt at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's conference where he was the only declared candidate not present.

"When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they've got to part ways," said long-time spokesman Rick Tyler. Tyler was among the staff to abandon the campaign.

Prior to his trip, Gingrich was criticized for going against fellow Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget on NBC's "Meet the Press." Later, he struggled to explain allegations that he racked up thousands in debt, between $250,001 and $500,000, at jeweler Tiffany & Co. in 2005 and 2006, according to Politico.

He denied the accusations, saying he paid his debts.

Gingrich pledged on Facebook to turn his campaign around after the June 9 mass resignations. As of Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. ET, he has made no mention of the latest resignations on his Facebook page except to encourage visitors to purchase buttons, mugs and t-shirts from his Newt 2012 store.

 

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