Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been working on finding replacements for the campaign staff that abandoned him en masse a couple of weeks ago. Alas, it looks like their first task will be hiring some new fundraisers, for the Associated Press reports that “the top fundraisers for Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign have abandoned his struggling bid amid anemic fundraising and heavy spending.”
“People familiar with Gingrich’s campaign spending say his fundraising has been weak since he launched his bid and that he has racked up large travel bills,” according to the AP. Not quite the message of taut fiscal discipline Gingrich might have wanted to send.
USA Today offers some conflicting perspectives on the Gingrich campaign. On the one hand, Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond says “Newt spends the majority of his awake time on the phone with potential donors.” On the other hand, the aides who quit earlier this month said “Gingrich was unwilling to put in the time commitment needed to raise money for a campaign, and to get to know voters.”
Both of these criticisms cannot be valid, unless Gingrich hopped on the phone and began tirelessly dialing for dollars after the mass campaign staff exodus. If that’s the case, why did his fundraising people just grab their parachutes? That doesn’t sound good at all.
Hammond told CNN that “Newt 2012 continues its reorganization and alignment as a grassroots driven, substantive, solutions-oriented campaign,” and Gingrich remains committed to the race.
The Washington Times reports that a Gingrich speech to the Atlanta Press Club scheduled for Wednesday could not find a corporate sponsor. MSNBC pointed out yesterday that “in his schedule this week, all of his events are within driving distance of his Georgia and DC-area homes.” That doesn’t sound like the agenda of someone who hopes to start a grass-roots prairie fire.