Gingrich press secretary fights off Trump questions
February 2nd, 2012
12:55 PM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich press secretary fights off Trump questions

Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) - R.C. Hammond did not have a good morning.

A gaggle of frustrated reporters swarmed Newt Gingrich's perpetually-exhausted traveling press secretary before the candidate's Thursday morning event in Las Vegas, demanding to know why campaign advisers had erroneously informed various media outlets that business mogul and reality television star Donald Trump was set to endorse Gingrich.

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CNN broke the news Thursday that Trump will actually be endorsing Mitt Romney.

But multiple news outlets - including The Associated Press, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Politico - reported the previous evening that Gingrich would be the one to land the endorsement, citing sources inside the campaign.

Was the communications mix-up a sign of the campaign's disorganization?

Or had Trump given Gingrich assurances about his endorsement, and then backed away?

With a raft of digital audio recorders shoved in his face, Hammond refused to answer the questions.

"The only person who knows what Donald Trump is going to do today is Donald Trump," he said, repeating the line at least five different times.

When reporters continued to press, Hammond demanded to know what campaign sources had talked.

"Who are they?" he asked.

No one named names - reporters don't like to reveal their sources, after all – so Hammond, clutching his coffee, tried to meander away.

"I am not talking to you guys anymore," he huffed. "I can only say the same thing 16 times."

Still, some reporters followed, wanting more details about the Trump drama.

"I am already tired of you," he said, brushing them off. "I need to take a nap."

Also see:

Gingrich hammers Romney over 'poor' comment

Dobson makes surprise appearance at Santorum event

Romney blasts Panetta after Afghanistan announcement

Axelrod: Romney is a 'weak frontrunner'

Romney rebounds in national poll, moves ahead of Gingrich

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Dave

    "The Donald may be a shrewd businessman..."

    He is not even that. Trump inherited wealth from his father and has run several businesses into the ground. In other words, he is just as shrewd a businessman as G.W. Bush.

    February 2, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. trump's endorsement will only help . . .

    whoever is running against the guy trump endorses

    February 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. blf83

    It doesn't matter. Gingrich is already self-toasted.

    February 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Steven Colo

    He lied about his divorce to his first wife. He lied during his vows to his first two wives. He's been lying since. Why should this endorsement lie be so important?

    February 2, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Jane

    Obviously Romney's check was larger than Gingrich's check. Simple as that.

    February 2, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I am already tired of you," he said, brushing them off. "I need to take a nap."

    Sums up most Americans thoughts about the GOP primary and the so called journalists and pundits covering the GOP primary.

    February 2, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. RetiredVet

    With this announcement coming from the Don on Groundhog Day, does it mean we have 6 more weeks of Newt?

    February 2, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Frankie

    This really sums up Romney's campaign. Trump and Romney are representatives of how I believe Willard Romney will write his policies. It will have a take on Lincoln's address. A government of the rich, for the rich and by the rich.

    February 2, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Laverne

    Trump is endorsing Romney for one reason and one reason only, well maybe two: 1. he is a wealthy businessman who does business just the way Romney does and 2. Trump is an opportunist, he is trying to ride the Romney wave now that Romney appears to be leading in most states. The only ones these guys are loyal to are big oil and wall street, everything and everybody else can go straight to hell as far as they are concerned!

    February 2, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. trump to endorse romney...

    donald (duck) trump endorsing romney?....great perhaps when Gingrich win the NOMINATION trump will keep his big...shut..!

    February 2, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Are they afraid to just come out and say that someone associated with Trump left them with the wrong impression?

    February 2, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The late Bob Guccione (Penthouse Magazine founder and publisher) used to say at his staff meetings that all publicity was good publicity because it kept your name in front of people. Well, in this case the publicity is showing another credibility gap in Newt's campaign. His toadies cannot even get their confidential information leaks correct. Then the chief toady stomps off in a temper tantrum, just like his boss.

    February 2, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Trump is afraid to run for president simply because he doesn't want to disclose how much he's worth. Trump is trying to slide under the radar to Washington without exposing his networth, he's smart but not that damn smart.

    February 2, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Muckinello

    No wonder, a guy that is famous for saying "you are fired!' endorses one that likes to say the same!

    February 2, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Expat American

    Isn't it clear by now....?

    Trump wants to be Vice President...!!!

    February 2, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. kenny

    Might I suggest to Newt Gingrich's Press Secretary, Mr. R.C. Hammond that when he goes to take that nap he said he needs that he take Newt with him as his "Teddy Bear". Then maybe both of them will sleep for 100 years and wake up right after the elections on Dec. 01st of 2112.

    February 2, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. kenny

    Newt doesn't realize it but he just got an extension on his political life as the endorsement of Romney by Donald "The Chump" Trump is but "A Political Kiss of Death".

    February 2, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Buster Bloodvessel

    I wonder if Newt hand-picks his staff to be grouchy and mean and dismissive so as to better reflect his values?

    February 2, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Claudia, Houston, Tx wrote:

    Trump is afraid to run for president simply because he doesn't want to disclose how much he's worth.
    Of course, not. Donald Trump is no position to *seriously* run for POTUS and never will be.

    Let's put aside Trump's challenge to Pres. Obama to show his birth certificate and Trump would disclose his financial records for the moment. Donald Trump is a serial bankruptcy candidate. On any given Monday, he has multiple lawsuits in court against him because of his bankruptcy filings. Disclosing any sort of financial information, be it good or bad, would not work in his favor in those court cases. Every candidate must file financial forms. The public always wants to later see tax returns for the front runners, but every candidate must file financial disclosures. That is a path that Trump must never travel.

    February 2, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Buster Bloodvessel

    "Trump is afraid to run for president simply because he doesn't want to disclose how much he's worth." Trump is a genius at assembling groups of investors. He doesn't actually have that much personal fortune as most of his money is tied up in construction projects. His rep would suffer if people knew he wasn't mega-rich.

    February 2, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. MaryM

    Newt. Pack it up. You are a LOSER. Go home

    February 2, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. Lawrence of Massachusetts

    Newt's press secretary is cut form the same mold as Newt - gruff, combative, arrogant, and unable to deal with realities.

    Gingrich likely leaked the story himself - hoping the Donald would give him the nod -- but not only did Trump thumb his nose at Gingrich, he intimated that if Romney is NOT the GOP nominee, Trump would run as an Independent. Trump wll ask Gingrich to bow out of the race telling him he has no chance of winning the nomination because he has ZERO chance of beating Obama head to head.

    February 2, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Tyrone

    Donald Trump is the biggest joke ......the people that think his endorsement is credible are also a joke....WHO CARES!!!

    Donald Trump is only rich because his father died and left him million....not a self made ...there are over 20 law sued against Trump. that why he not running for President

    Donald Trump never ran for President never held any political office ...NO experience even as vice President Trump would be a embarrassment

    Donald Trump endorsement is like Sarah Palin endorsement NOTHING BUT A IDIOT SUPPORTING A IDIOT......SO WHAT!

    Donald Trump really lost his credibility when President Obama showed his Birth Certificate...and Trump still does not believe it's real

    Donald Trump Now wants to see President Obama school grades and that will solve all American problem as did seeing his birth certificate

    Donald Trump is a American terrorist no better then the oversea terrorist attacking the country and the President of the United States

    Donald Trump talk about China negatively and said if he was President he would do this and that! YEAH RIGHT and all American will be hurt

    Donald Trump the terrorist Sarah Palin the quitter terrorist Herman Cain the pervert terrorist DON'T MATTER!

    February 2, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. tp1776

    I hope Trump says something really stupid and demeaning to Romney, like "you're hired!"

    February 2, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    All these stupid stories about TRUMP?!?! One of the most irrelevant idiots in America? CNN, I stopped clicking your insipid Palin stories years ago. I'll be doing the same with Trump. Give it rest and start acting like real journalist instead of toadies for the new idiocracy.

    February 2, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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