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Newt Gingrich’s epic campaign implosion is not entirely unexpected, but is delightful to watch. Gingrich attempted to explain the mass exodus surrounding his campaign after several key aides resigned. Speaking outside of his house in Virginia, Gingrich said the differences involved campaign strategy. He told reporters, in his words, “There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run.” He also said that “we’ll find out over the next year who’s right.”
The Republican hopeful said in an interview with ABC News, “I’m prepared to go out and to campaign very intensely but I want a campaign on ideas and on solutions and I want to do it in a way that brings Americans together into a large movement.” Despite Gingrich’s assurances, the other GOP hopefuls took advantage of the chaos in the Gingrich campaign. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced that some of Gingrich’s supporters, including big name supporters, have thrown their support behind the T-Paw campaign now.
In a statement, Gingrich maintained he’s still in the contest. “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” he said shortly after word broke of the mass staff exit. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”
In addition to losing his campaign manager, senior adviser and longtime press aide, he also saw key staff in the pivotal early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina head for the exits. Gingrich’s campaign has been besieged by problem after problem since it began. The latest controversies came as Gingrich continues to try to be some down home common candidate. The media reported that the Gingrich’s have a $500,000 line of credit at the upscale jeweler Tiffany’s creating a public relations nightmare for the campaign. And then, inexplicably, Gingrich suspends the campaign to embark on a long-planned cruise in the Greek Isles with his wife, Callista, aboard a luxury ship where former supermodel Twiggy reportedly was among the passengers. Doesn’t seem much like someone who knows how to cut spending, eh?
Many insiders believe that Gingrich was never serious about the campaign to begin with, instead using it ala Donald Trump as a way to promote his books and DVDs. His promotional appearances often seem to time with some new product that his wife and he are promoting. If that is the case, then these controversies and gaffes will not diminish the Gingrich Empire at all. His name will become more relevant and sell more books. Meanwhile, though, Republicans have yet to find a candidate that can even sort of stand toe to toe with President Obama. Seems like it may be a rough season for the GOP.