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. fulredy

    Boy, the liberal scarecrows are out in force tonight!

    December 28, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  2. Dea2

    First of all Newt, there is no such thing as a "paid volunteer", they're called employees and you are their boss, therefore this is on you.
    Second, blaming staffers has gotten really old, I have more respect for politicians who take credit for the mistakes as well as the good stuff.
    Third, most of the nation doesn't trust you and this just solidifies our opinion of you.

    December 28, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. krissmith777

    Yes, Newt, blame everyone but yourself.

    December 28, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. Cindy

    It's funny how these "States' Rights" Republican are the first to want to sue a state over their election laws. These laws have been on the books for years. So much for "States' Rights." The state can only have rights when the state agrees with the Republicans.

    December 28, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. Lisa

    Career politicians should know the rules, especially in their "home state". Just because only 2 candidates followed them correctly does not make it a "failed system". It just means the other candidates were too lazy to do the proper research and allot enough time to get it done properly.. Or they assumed the rules didn't apply to them. Of course, one should never assume - makes an a$$, well you know the rest.

    December 28, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. MLV1055

    I'll bet this whole story is something Newt fabricated to obscure the fact that he couldn't get enough signatures to qualify, which is admittedly pretty sad. Once that becomes an accepted part of the narrative, he's sunk. He thinks that it's better to claim that some reprobate, probably a Democratic operative, sabotaged his campaign than it is to admit his inadequacy.

    December 28, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  7. Jilli

    You know, with Gingrich, it's ALWAYS someone elses fault. I wouldn't believe gingrich if he told me the sky was blue.

    December 28, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  8. John

    Hey Newt, Here's an idea for next time. First, make a list of all 50 states. Second, when you get on the ballot for each state, put a little check mark next to it – that way you'll know if you got on the ballot. Finally, if there's a state with an upcoming deadline but no check mark, try to get more signatures for that state. I hope this helps.

    December 28, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. kenny

    Former House Speaker Gingrich 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."

    Based on that statement he claims the Va. process is a failed system. Sounds to me like his process of hiring people is more the failed system. The stste had nothing to do with telling his campaign who to hire. It sounds like the problem rest squarely on the shoulders of the Gingrich Campaign and not on the Va. process. He can't claim the process was designed to discrimminate against him or Republicans because some of his Republican friends qualified as well as Republican candidates back in the 2010 and 2008 elections (John McCain) and others. I guess Mr. Gingrich feels the system in his home state is designed to work against him so it should be changed. Well he is sadly mistaken. The system worked and his organization, or the lack the lack of one is responsible for his screw-up. If this is any indicator of the type of President he will be then this country would be in serious trouble if hei is elected. Also, if it is such a failed system, why didn't he take some action before it affected him rather than waiting until it worked against him? It appears it was an OK system with him until he was not satisfied with it. Tough Luck.

    December 28, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Shannon

    Someone who supports Gingrich would committ fraud, go figure!

    December 28, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. carly

    always blaming someone else. look in the mirror Newt.

    December 28, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Jorge U.U. Boosh

    I DEMAND that all NEWT voters provide 2 forms to prove residency in the precent where they come to vote AND a photo ID!

    December 28, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. Logic in LA

    He either A) didn't expect to make it to Virginia B) was too disorganized at the top to get it done on time C) isn't qualified to be President if he can't even get enough names to be on a ballot or D) Shows his Congressional roots and put it off until the last minute
    All the above say – No to Newt!

    December 28, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Chuck in Jasper, Ga.

    Come on where is the Acorn rhetoric? I'm waiting patiently. You mean somebody was getting paid to get signatures and they committed fraud? Oh my, Acorn has to be behind this, just like with the claims of those that committed fraud when Obama was running. It couldn't possibly be someone was just trying to turn a buck. At least according to the Republican/Conservatives.. I'm sure Acorn is behind this.... SOUND FAMILIAR?

    December 28, 2011 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  15. Pat in IL

    For a guy who has a strong history of lying and cheating....wives, lobbying, ethics ouster, cry foul on Virginia's system because (supposedly) one of his own PAID employees cheated is pretty obvious and dumb.

    December 28, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  16. AlexFrey

    Paid volunteers.... interesting!

    December 28, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  17. The Dude

    So, Gingrich does not support States Rights. Check.

    December 28, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Randall Rodd

    Run away from this crook as fast as you can! Every day there is something new and odorous about this day it is his former marriages, and then this Virginia issue.....can you imagine what his presidency would be like? OMG! Obama may not be perfect, but he is sure better than anything the GOP SLOP is showing.

    December 28, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Newt, you probably should not be using Kochheads as your "paid volunteers"!

    December 28, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. truther

    Requiring ID to vote and requiring so many supporters (signatures) to be on a ballot are good ideas and when the law need to be followed. The only problem with requiring an ID is it will be harder to rig an election and commit fraud. The only problem with requiring a number of signatures to get on a ballot is it may make the ballot a place where true people with a chance of winning are on the ballot and not a bunch of people with no chance and are a waist of time also there. Everyone knows the rules ahead of time so there should be no problem. Rick Perry is a cry baby and has a lawyer mentality ( I don't know if he is a lawyer.) If you can't follow the rules sue. He is exactly what we need as president.

    December 28, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Reddog9500

    Maybe they couldn't get enough honest signatures to support him because the good people of Virginia know him and see him for who he really is: A morally bankrupt, power hungry, serial liar.

    December 28, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. Billy



    December 28, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. unretired05

    He cited fraud ,but it was his fraud that prevented him,m from being on they ballot in Virginia.

    December 28, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. NetShark

    Fraud happens. Point it out, rectify the problem and move on. Now if only democrats could clean up their side......

    December 28, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  25. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    So voter fraud is a Republican tactic?

    December 28, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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