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. Bob

    The only people hammering Newt are those that want to see Obama reelected. Wimp Romney will be blown away by Obama. Virginia goes with the wind and is ruled by Washington. Their count was false for a reason.

    December 28, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Bill

    I am surprised he has not blamed President Obama or the Democrats.

    December 28, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Barbara Nichols

    Since when is committing "fraud" and making a "mistake" the same? Regardless, he didn't turn in enough legit signatures...PERIOD! That means, to me at least, his campaign failed; it was not a system failure. It continues to amaze me how people will try to justify anything.

    December 28, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Cedar Rapids

    I think we need a witch hunt and close down the organization that arranged for these volunteers.

    December 28, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Just Say No to Flipper

    This is not a surprise. Rove is known for his dirty tricks and he will not allow his Project to Elect Another Neocon Robot to be derailed.

    December 28, 2011 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. PuzzledInPeoria

    Guess the Newtster's charming personality couldn't turn out any UNpaid volunteers. I'll bet he used the same excuse ("failed system") when he was fined $300,000 for House ethics violations.

    December 28, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  7. Rice

    Newt should not have hired former Acorn employees.

    December 28, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  8. Phil in KC

    That's what happens when you pay someone and the only requirement is to come up with 1000 or 1500 signatures. It was obviously someone out for an easy buck, who discovered it might not be that easy to come up with the required number of signatures. So he decided he would come up with them by hook or by crook (and chose the latter).
    Of course, the fact that this happened at all is a direct reflection on his campaign.

    December 28, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  9. Siestasis

    Waahh, Waahh. LOL LOL

    December 28, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  10. EddyL

    Paid volunteers commit fraud to get signatures!! Hilarious. Newt is a lying slob and serial adulterer.

    December 28, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. sundance147

    Ya,blame someone else Newt...Now,get out of the race,you're taking up space...

    December 28, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Gingrich won't vote for himself

    So Gingrich, as a Virginia resident is not going to vote for himself, or for Paul (apparently). Wonder who he will vote for. Do will really want somebody this organizationally inept running our country?

    December 28, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. BigBoa

    Wouldn't be at all surprising to find out the questionable person is a Paul-bot trying to give his idol an edge.....

    December 28, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. BlackDynamite

    I guess when he fails to get the GOP Nomination, we can count on him calling the primaries "a failed process"?

    December 28, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Beverly - NYC

    So Romney and Paul were able to get the required signatures without monkey business, according to Newt the system failed because his paid "volunteers" couldn't go above and beyond and collect additional signatures to cover the ones that will eventually be thrown out. Poor baby, Newt if you can't run a campaign, how can you possibly run a country.

    December 28, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |

    Love it, just love it. End of the trail Newt – go catch a ride on the Cain Train to the city dump.

    December 28, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Stan

    Well that only means Newt didn't do his homework. He should have collect 12,000 signatures then, assuming that some desperate paid workers might commit fraud... which is what happened. But true to his Republican background, he blames someone else for his lack of leadership. Good riddance.

    December 28, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. GonzoinHouston

    Newt routinely plays fast and loose with the facts, so I want to see the verifiable numbers on this case. Specifically, how many total signatures, exactly how many tossed out for fraud, and how many people involved. A certain percentage of signatures are always tossed out, and 11,400 to get 10,000 looks like a rather slim margin for error. CNN, is someone working on this?

    December 28, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Free Market

    This is what I love about the current crop in the GOP. They know and understand the rules, but when they fail to meet the bar, they say the rule are wrong. Sorry chump, your team screwed you. Probably because you never told the team to be honest in the process......

    December 28, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. BobinNC

    Glad to hear all you Democrats so concerned about voter fraud, I'm expecting you all support positive ID'ing people at the ballot box. I certainly do.

    December 28, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Qualifications

    I am not certain that 10,000 signatures are the right qualifications for being on a ballot, but so be it. This is not a new or nover requirement. But let's think about the Perry/Gingrich response – disparage the system and run to the courts to get relief from a fairly low bar that has never been an issue in the past.

    Gotta loves those "Rules are for the other guys types." As far as I am concerned in a Republican can't round up 10,000 signatures plus a reserve in Virginia in less than a day, they to not have the most basic organizational skills for the job.

    I guess we can now see the low water mark...

    December 28, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Peter

    Newt has been newt-ered.

    December 28, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  23. Liberty Queen

    In addition to the voter fraud, Newt did, in fact filed for the divorce as plaintiff against his first wife, Jacqueline, who, he told a FORMER friend, was, according to mr. doughboy, 'not young enough or pretty enough to be a president's wife'. Bye, bye blubber-butt!

    December 28, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  24. RinosRWinos

    Newt forgot you can't sign up dead people to vote. An honest mistake.

    December 28, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Wes wrote:

    This reminds me of obama and the voter forgery/fraud investigation in Indiana.
    Rick Perry goofed it up, too. This reminds of just how incompetent the entire Republican Party is.

    December 28, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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