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. Mel Beavis

    When Newt was in school, his dog ate the homework.

    December 28, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  2. ed

    where are all the Anti ACORN tea partiers. Why aren't they screaming like old women about Newts signature scam like they did about ACORNS alleged unethical activities? You know why they aren't? Because tea partiers are a bunch of hyporcritical tin foil hat wearing nimrods.

    December 28, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Iconoclast

    Gingrich? Fraud? Oh please tell me it ain't so! Who would have ever thought?

    December 28, 2011 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. guesswho22

    Now, let's have the Democrats rant and rave about campaign fraud by the Republicans. Bet Gingrich knew about it, too. Let's get the news media more outraged by this fraud as they were about the supposed ACORN fraud where Mickey Mouse was a registered voter. Why are Republicans always caught red handed and then lie their way out of a brow beating by the media? Because they are very good liars...

    December 28, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. markiejoe

    Newt should know all about fraud.

    December 28, 2011 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  6. GOPSmell

    what is a paid volunteer?

    December 28, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. Steve

    Ha ha "paid" volunteers. He is perfect for Washington, it is full of oxymorons.

    December 28, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Sam

    Sorry Marjee123, but look at the fraud in Northern Indiana in the 2008 presidential primary committed by both the Barach and Hillary teams. Had they checked the signatures then, neither of the candidates would have qualified for the Indiana ballot. That's one study. I'm sure we could find that in many other states as well. dTheir buddies let it go through and never said a thing. In Virginia, the Republicans in the primary are catching signature fraud and stopping it. The Dems let it go and enabled the fraud.

    December 28, 2011 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Leigh

    VA's rules have been around for a while now. The requirements are not new. If Gringrich's campaign can't even get the rules straight and verify its signatures in his OWN state, imagine what a simply SPIFFY president he would make.

    December 28, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Reefer Power

    This means that in addition to being disorganized, Mr. Gingrich is a bad judge of character, doesn't have trustworthy people working for him, and apparently lacks voter support in his home state. Yikes!

    December 28, 2011 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    The more this fool talks, the sleazier he becomes.

    I don't really care what he has done in the privacy of his bedroom but I do care that he lies about it. We have had enough lying Republican presidents and vice-presidents. Say, there's a thought. He could be president in charge of vice. He seems experienced in that area.

    December 28, 2011 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I've been waiting to see who would get the blame for the Gingrich debacle....I knew he'd find someone else to blame!!!!!

    December 28, 2011 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. Josh

    The only "failed system" here is Newt's campaign. It's time for Newt to put up or shut up.

    December 28, 2011 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. SixDegrees

    I don't understand why his staff was "scrambling" to get signatures. A sound campaign would have had these requirements satisfied months ago. And although Virginia's rules do strike me as more contorted than most, I don't think they're anything new, and candidates in the past don't seem to have had any problem adhering to them.

    December 28, 2011 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  15. jane anderson

    What? Blame someone else? Hey Newt – that the excuse you going to use if you are elected president? Well, I am going to tax you even more because I surrounded myself with people who aren not honest.

    And Newt – your recent interview when you were asked if you have enough money to campaign? You replied "I have no idea." YOU don't know? Well what will you know if you are elected president?

    December 28, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  16. Cogito

    You mean Newt Gingrich did something (else) that was highly unethical???
    Who would have ever thought he was capable of such a thing!?!?

    December 28, 2011 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  17. Shardik

    "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."

    If it were a contractor used by ACORN you'd be screaming to cut its funding... oh, wait – you already did.

    December 28, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. JimS.

    Some of you apparently need to read the article again for COMPREHENSION this time. Nowhere did it say these people were volunteers. Paying people to collect signatures is common practice in many states that have initiative processes. It does NOT mean they're volunteers. They work for a company that pays them to go out and collect signatures. It's a job. People get paid to do it. They get paid by the signature. When you resort to this, you have people collecting who are motivated by the money, not by the issues. Newt's campaign did not commit fraud. The only person to commit fraud here is the contractor who (allegedly) submitted fraudulent signatures. If that really happened, that person will probably be prosecuted. Too bad for Newt, though. He should've known better than to cut it so close. But there are no "do overs", he's hosed.

    December 28, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. mtstcon

    HHmmmm, kind of reminds me of Acorn's tactics.

    December 28, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. celador2

    Organization is necessary. Know who , when where and what is required to get the candidate name on ballot. Newt started too late with too little. But, Virginia has such tough eligible standards they are too restricitve imo. Virginia should make ballot access easier than it is. Only wto qualified.

    December 28, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. BluesBrother

    Newt should have just stole this from the Blues Brothers:

    Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

    December 28, 2011 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. celador2

    Denying VIrginia voters a choice in a heated primary is no victory for whoever wins by default. Write ins are banned also. Man, what a state! With all the Republican voters shomping at theeh bit ready to vote, what a let down.

    Some of them should have volunteered to help gather signatures in every CD- in hindsight.

    December 28, 2011 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  23. Mark

    HEY NEWT!!! Remember why you had to resign as speaker of the house? ETHICS VIOLATIONS...
    Remember why you're first and second wives divorced you? CHEATER..
    You will never be president of this country because you have no MORALS..
    This IS your home state for crying out loud, can't you have somebody stand in front of the mall and get 10k ligit. signatures? GeeWiz, with your money you could pay a buck a signature.. oops that would be FRAUD.

    December 28, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  24. Squigman

    Crooks will be crooks.

    December 28, 2011 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. Jewels

    Really? Who would vote for this guy? Everything about him seems shady.

    December 28, 2011 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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