- (Photo: Reuters / Jason Reed)
Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign may be imploding after a number of slip-ups, an ill-timed trip and the mass evacuation of his campaign staff.
Gingrich's team of senior advisers resigned together Thursday, creating a huge step back for the former House speaker's campaign. Vacant positions include campaign spokesman, campaign manager, three adviser positions, media consultant, Iowa strategist, and South Carolina operative.
In total, eight employees have left the campaign.
"The professional team came to the realization that the direction of the campaign they sought and Newt’s vision for campaign were incompatible," said former Gingrich strategist Dave Carney, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This became evident when Gingrich took an unadvised cruise to the Greek Isles with his wife Callista last week while other candidates were meeting voters on the campaign trail and speaking with conservatives at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's conference.
Upon his return this week, Gingrich went on to New Hampshire, an anonymous source told The Washington Post, but remained largely off the campaign trail.
Long-time spokesman Rick Tyler told the Post concerns began to arise about whether or not he would "commit time to the grassroots."
The former House speaker 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.
"When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they've got to part ways," said Tyler.
Prior to his trip, Gingrich was criticized for going against fellow Republican Paul Ryan's budget on NBC's "Meet the Press." Later, he struggled to explain allegations that he racked up thousands in debt at jeweler Tiffany & Co.
Amid these blunders, Gingrich's poll numbers began to slide. According to a national Gallup poll, 9 percent of GOP voters said they would give him their ballot support. By comparison, Libertarian Ron Paul has 10 percent of Republicans' ballot support.
Gingrich also has the second lowest positive intensity score of 4, down from 19 earlier this year.
Despite his setbacks, Gingrich says he plans to start anew Sunday.
"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," Gingrich wrote in a Facebook post.
He officially entered the 2012 race last month. This year's entrance marks his second attempt at a presidential run. Gingrich very nearly entered the 2008 presidential race but backed away at the last minute.