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. Todd

    Newt has some real explaining to do here... How could he be the CEO of this campaign and this happen under his watch... Some president he would make......

    December 28, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. vmorn

    Smells like an Obama/ACORN imposter who messed things up for Newt. Easy enough for the other side to do this....and they know they did something to cry foul!

    December 28, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

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

    It's this kind of silly comment that puts the "low" in "low-information voter."

    As in Newtsie's case, all gathered signatures have to be verified by the Secretary of State before those voters are registered at the polls.

    In simpler language, it doesn't matter who gathers invalid signatures, the gatekeeper (the Secretary of State) for each state grants voter registration – AND NO ONE ELSE.

    December 28, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |

    Two major problems here. First, there is no such thing as a "PAID" VOLUNTEER. A volunteer does not get paid, that's what the word volunteer means. If you get paid you are either an employee or a contract worker, but you are not a volunteer, period. Obviously the second is the FRAUD, how can that be?!? I thought voter fraud was only committed by democrats, ask anyone in the GOP, and yet, her is Your GOP employee or contract worker, hired by you committing Fraud on your behalf! Lets' see, so another GOP, Family Values, Conservative front runner who can't get on the ballot because he hired a worker who had to commit fraud in order to get the required amount signatures but tries to pass the buck and throw his employee under the bus. It's not my fault, my employee did it for me. If that was a democrat who did this you know it would be repeated over and over again. Who wants to bet that the GOP will forgive poor Newt yet another time. The entire GOP has one thing in common, they are all HYPOCRITES.

    December 28, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. James PDX

    This will teach Newt not to hire people that remind him of himself.

    December 28, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. ardale

    GOP can't blame ACORN for this can they? Oh they probably will find a way.

    December 28, 2011 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Eric

    Having "paid volunteers" sounds a lot like those election protestors down in Florida in November of 2000. How about "campaign employee". Although it sounds pretty hard to fake 1,500 different signatures, even if the "worker" pulled them out of the phone book. Didn't anybody check to see if it was all one person's handwriting? On the bright side, if Newt's people can fake 1,500 votes for a primary ballot initiative, how much could his team fake for an actual election? Now that's a Republican!

    December 28, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. NN

    He can't even run the logistics of his campaign but he thinks he can run the country: typical delusional idiot politician.

    December 28, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. ohreally

    Hey Sal, are you kidding or what? Newt will bring a cerebral tone after Obama? That is a ridiculous statement. The biggest problem for Obama is having to talk down to so many of the Voters and particular the Right. He has to try and dumb down his speeches, because the IQ of many voters can only digest the easy stuff.

    December 28, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. Palin: Like Coulter ... Minus the Manparts

    Isn't everything associated with Newt fraudulent?

    December 28, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. drinky

    His life is a fraud...His wife is a fraud...His campaign is a fraud...His first divorce was a fraud...His stance on any issue is a fraud...What makes people think his underlings (if that's who is really behind this...haha...) aren't frauds also??? Where is the story here? That the GOP is even CONSIDERING pandering buffoons like Gingrich (Perry, Bachmann, Cain, Paul, Romney, Santorum) while the ONLY one who isn't a lunatic (Huntsman), languishes in the polls shows just how braind dead the GOP really is.

    December 28, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. John McDonald

    Sounds like everyone hates Newt. Also sounds like someone tricked Perry and Gingrich into submitting invalid signatures to fall below the threshold. Doesn't matter because McCain, Romney, Gingrich all "talk" conservative around election time and act moderate to liberal the rest of the time.

    December 28, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. mike

    Those darn Acorn voter register folks will get you everytime lol.

    December 28, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Pat - Houston

    I have to laugh everytime I read a message that indicates President Obama, Acorn, etc. committed fraud. Everyone sat in front of their TV's and saw ballots being discounted the first time George W. Bush got (not elected) into office. Then, to add insult to injury, the not-so-supreme court GAVE the election to him. President Obama received so many votes that there was no way nor time for the Republicans to steal the election from him! Face it, we are a diverse nation and we will have diversity in the Presidency; there is no superior race!

    December 28, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. mike

    yes Grinch you obviously have the organizational power to be president. LMAO

    December 28, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. thinkergal

    Somehow the word "fraud" and the name "Newt Gingrich" belong in the same sentence.
    Goodbye, Newt.

    December 28, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. FIELD1stSGT

    It's funny they catch Ginrich, but let Obama's three state fraud in signatures go. WHY? Better start asking questions true Americans or you're going down into the slimy slope of Socialism.

    December 28, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. Edwin

    Marjoree123: it's only fraud when a liberal does it. When a conservative does it, it was an honest mistake...

    BTW, that was sarcasm, but I've actually heard someone say that, and actually believe it. I tried to point out the logical inconsistency, but I was accused of being a libtard and therefore stupid or brainwashed.

    December 28, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. gg

    newt cheat gingrich

    December 28, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Edwin

    On the other hand, at least give Gingrich kudos for calling it what it is. And for all those who think he did this deliberately, remember that most political campaigns delegate lots of groundwork responsibility to the local areas. The regional organizer is likely at fault - or maybe just this one guy.

    Heck, the guy might have done it deliberately, to embarrass Gingrich. I'm not a fan of Gingrich's policies, but the fraud is unlikely to be his fault. The fact that he could only muster 11,100 signatures in his home state, though, IS his fault.

    December 28, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. whitneymuse

    The Newt Balloon has blown up!
    Not my choice as an organizer and leader....
    Not Newt.

    December 28, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Don Ziegler II

    Hey, Hayden! Shouldn't Obama have had better control over HIS organization? Whatever happened to the buck stopping with someone? And you want to criticize Gingrich? I guess we know what kind of president Obama is.

    December 28, 2011 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. Dave's

    Ron Paul made him do it..and all the indecent americans

    December 28, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Larry Andre

    Paid volunteers, the cost one pays when they do not have the grassroots organization. One has to expect the paid signature collectors will not be as careful as a non-paid volunteer. I like Newt, and Perry as well as Romney but when candidates do not take their responsibility to get signatures seriously I begin to wonder. All the candidates knew the rules going into this and to fall short then to start making excuses tells me if either of these two men were to be elected president they might continue to make excuses. Like "it's Bush's fault" like the current resident of the White House.

    December 28, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  25. Virginian

    So THAT's what Herman Cain is doing NOW.

    December 28, 2011 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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