Gingrich: Campaign worker's signature fraud cost slot on Virginia ballot
December 28th, 2011
04:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich: Campaign worker's signature fraud cost slot on Virginia ballot

Algona, Iowa (CNN) - Newt Gingrich cited fraud Wednesday as the reason he didn't get on the Virginia primary ballot.

Last week his campaign acknowledged they used paid volunteers to scramble to get the required 10,000 signatures but fell short after the former House speaker and Virginia resident boasted his campaign was submitting as many as 12,000-14,000 signatures.

On a campaign stop at an Algona chocolate store, the former House speaker said the "mistake" occurred because one of their workers committed fraud.

"We hired somebody who turned in false signatures. We turned in 11,100 – we needed 10,000 – 1,500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud."

The campaign called the Virginia ballot qualification process a "failed system" after they learned that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul were the only candidates that were successful.

Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Virginia
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. JB

    Sheesh, Newt's had 6 months to get the signatures. Why did he wait until the last minute to get them? Doesn't he even live in VA?

    December 28, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    Well, when you pay people by the signature to turn in as many as possible in a short period of time, what do you expect, Newt? You really shouldn't be surprised by people who put their loyalty to making a buck ahead of their loyalty to you; afterall, isn't that kind of free-market capitalism what you believe in?

    December 28, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Sal

    It's sad that an intellectually gifted guy like Newt seems to be sinking fast. Although I take issue with many of his
    policies it would have been interesting to see him in the Presidency. After Obama and Bush, he would have brought
    a cerebral tone to the White House. Of course, because half the country doesn't pay income tax and half the country gets something from the Federal government, Obama the panderer will be re-elected . Therefore my Newt musings
    are a moot points. Greece here we come.

    December 28, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Phil

    "The sun got in my eyes," "There was a rock that made the ball take a bad hop," "My glove is too old." Does he need some more excuses? He's a resident of the state! Why was his campaign in such a last-minute dash that he had to use "paid volunteers" (whatever THAT means)? Why did he have to wait until the last day to submit? Why did his campaign manager not know that write-ins aren't allowed in VA primaries (the law has only been in place since the '50s!)? Why is his campaign in such disarray in his home state? What could that possibly mean about his national organization or, worse, a potential administration? The rules have always been there, they are very easy to find and read and understand. 10,000 verifiable (in other words, get their printed names, addresses and phone numbers too!) signatures with at least 400 from each county. Not that difficult if you're a legitimate candidate. Do the work instead of complaining later.

    December 28, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Ben Dover

    Pass the buck, pass the blame.

    December 28, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    I thought only Democrats did this kind of stuff, thus all the change in the voting laws that were supposed to help Republicans. Shows me what I know.

    December 28, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. cigarman

    Newt is the only FRAUD in this fiasco. Newt is a LIAR, A whiny little imp and any other adjective you can think of.If this is the best that the Christians in our nation can do, they are PITIFUL.

    December 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Billyboy

    Not my fault!! says Newt. Is this your mantra? asks the voters. I do not have to talk to you. says Newt. And it wasn't my fault when I had relations with another women while married. says Newt. It was her fault. says Newt. And I promise not to do it again. So vote for me says Newt. Because I have no faults.

    December 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Remember back in August when Newtsie claimed he had 1.3 million Twitter followers? And then the social networking search firm, PeekYou, investigated the situation and crunched the numbers – and concluded that roughly 106,055 of these "followers" were real people, and that the rest are fakes?

    I think it's rather ironic that Newtsie "fell victim" to an unscrupulous signature gatherer. 🙂

    December 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    Steve Klausner

    This is a serious charge, I trust Virginia's Attorney General will fully investigate.
    I'm a Virginia resident, and apparently you don't know Ken Cuccinelli. The only thing he's focused on is becoming governor.

    December 28, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Long

    If it was Obama you would have never known. The Putin vote counters got nothing on them.

    December 28, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. John

    When this happened to ACORN they took all the blame for the exact same thing. Typical repulicans.

    December 28, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. sandreasson

    Gingrich sounds like politicians and government employees, always casting responsibility anywhere but with themselves. My management professor taught "you can delegate authority, but you can't delegate responsibility"

    December 28, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Dan J

    It is pretty standard to go at least 50% over the signature requirements in a political election. Gingrich knows this. To go to 11k signatures in something as crucial as a state primary, well, that's pretty inexcusable. Lack of management and organization are key for a president, and Newt shows he is lacking in those departments.

    December 28, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Bob Bofelli

    Both Parties are corrupt, that is why I have joined the Internet Party

    December 28, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. V in Chicago

    @ Mark – Spot On!

    December 28, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  17. Newts Mom

    Wow, so Newt can't even control what's happening on his own team? That's gotta hurt, to see someone that supposedly is working under your name doing something wrong. It's just a good thing that it wasn't someone posting really ranty racist stuff using Newts name instead of just committing voter fraud, because yeah, that would be bad...

    Irony, it's what's for dinner.

    December 28, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. TMforRP

    "My dog tricked me!"

    December 28, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. John

    When ACORN got caught doing the exact same thing Newt Gingrich demanded a federal investigation from the Attourney Generals Office. I wonder if he will call for an investigation on his campaign too?

    December 28, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Tom Black

    Wire Palladin, S. F.
    Check your stats. We had more than 200 fraudalent Democrat voters in DALLAS in the last national election. People were prosecuted and people went to federal prison. So much for your argument.

    December 28, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. GoldBacon

    It doesn't matter...Gingrich will be out of the race by Super Tuesday anyway. This primary is turning into a 2-man race: Ron Paul vs. Not-Ron Paul (probably Romney).

    December 28, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. V in Chicago

    Somehow this will be Obama's fault. You know Newt is scrambling right now trying to bend this one to his advantage.

    Give it up Newt. There are too many of us who remember you from your past. You will NEVER occupy the White House!!

    December 28, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Mikey

    So Newt is saying HIS campaign committed fraud. Where does that buck stop?

    December 28, 2011 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. VillageViking

    You mean Ron Paul's and Mitt Romney's organizations were successful and Newt's was not? Why am I not surprised...

    December 28, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. lgny

    The requirement to submit signatures.
    The process of verifying all signatures in detail.
    The reality that some workers cheat and forget signatures
    These are all common knowledge to an experienced politician like Gingritch.
    Simply put, he fumbled the ball.

    December 28, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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