Gingrich faults fundraising for campaign changes
March 28th, 2012
08:54 AM ET
11 years ago

Gingrich faults fundraising for campaign changes

(CNN) – Newt Gingrich on Wednesday blamed cash flow for the downsizing of his presidential campaign, but reiterated his plan to stay in the race until another candidate receives the delegates necessary to capture the GOP nomination.

"We're staying in that's exactly why we're downsizing and doing what we need to to be able to stay in," Gingrich told WTOP radio in Washington, D.C. "I think you have to respond to reality and we had you know, cash flow shorter than we'd like it to be so we're doing the appropriate things to be able to campaign."

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On Tuesday, the former House speaker's campaign announced they had replaced the campaign manager and laid off one-third of his staff. Spokesperson R.C. Hammond said the "campaign is being redesigned to make it convention ready," vowing he would stay in the race until the convention in August.

Gingrich explained his determination going forward by comparing his White House effort to a sports team.

"None of you guys would call a football team or a basketball team and say 'gee, why don't you drop you?' You'd say 'OK, there's a season, let's play the season out," Gingrich said. "Until Mitt Romney has 1,144 locked down solidly, I owe it to the people that have helped me for the last year to represent their views and their values."

Gingrich Communications Director Joe DeSantis said the campaign has adopted a new strategy following the acknowledgment they will not have 1,144 delegates, the number needed to clinch the nomination, by June 26, the date of the last nominating contest.

"So what we're going to have to do is convince delegates in the six to eight day period between the last primaries and the convention that Newt is the candidate to defeat Obama and to change Washington," DeSantis told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Wednesday on "Starting Point."

He said the campaign will channel their resources into key delegate states and engage in the national media.

News of the Gingrich campaign shakeup was first reported by Politico.

During an appearance on Fox News Tuesday night Gingrich said he is open to donating personal funds to his campaign but said the campaign is "raising some money."

However, his campaign appears to be facing financial difficulties. As of March 1, the campaign had $1.5 million cash on hand and a debt of $1.6 million, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Although they raised $2.6 million in February, they spent $2.9 million in the same month.

Gingrich's campaign was left for dead by many in May and June, after a number of controversies spurred some of his top advisers and staffers to quit, leaving the campaign coffers in the red.

But the former Georgia congressman performed well in the major GOP presidential debates last summer and in the fall, often acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals attacked each other.

He also won over debate audiences by repeatedly criticizing questions from the moderators and voraciously attacking President Barack Obama.

In mid-November, thanks to his strong debate performances and the fading poll numbers of rival contenders at the time, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and businessman Herman Cain, Gingrich's poll numbers skyrocketed. But the surge did not last and he finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the nomination calendar, on January 3.

Although Gingrich crushed the competition on January 21, winning the South Carolina Primary, he has since only won Georgia.

Despite his defiance, Gingrich has the longest of odds to capture the nomination. According to a CNN estimate, he has 136 delegates, meaning he would need to win 1,008, or 83% of the remaining delegates, to reach 1,144 delegates.

And it seems that many Republican voters would like to see him end his campaign. According to a CNN/ORC International poll released on Tuesday, six out of ten Republicans and independent voters who lean toward the GOP said that Gingrich should drop out of the race, with 39% saying the former House speaker should not end his bid. A similar amount said that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas should drop out.

The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, seems to dispel the notion that if Gingrich dropped out of the race, his supporters would mostly flock to Santorum, considered the other major conservative candidate in the race. A majority of Gingrich supporters questioned said that Romney rather than Santorum is their second choice.

"If you recalculate the GOP horse race using the Gingrich voters' second choice, Romney's lead over Santorum grows to fifteen percentage points, 45% for Romney and 30% for Santorum, compared to the ten-point margin Romney currently has in the four-man field," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

- CNN's Mark Preston and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Strategic Bob


    The problem with your campaign isn't the fundraising. It's the candidate.

    No one with more than half a brain wants you. What part of that don't you understand?

    March 28, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. bmerbob

    "Respond to reality"? That's a first for Newt.

    March 28, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. rad666

    Going to lose, but is he still getting matching federal funds?

    March 28, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Dvet

    He has run a deficit already. Dam shame. Already in the red. No more G.0.p.

    March 28, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. krag

    So your in the hole with your campaign budget and yet think your the man to kandle the US budget. newt do the math. You have no money because no one likes you. Getting 2 delegates in each state and expect to win. You compare this to a game. Is that what your going to compare the running of the country to. Its not a game. Any man that thinks the president controls the price of oil shouldnt even be running for dog catcher..You and your whole party are a joke.If a circus act is the best your party has to offer then its time for the republican party to fold along with your campaign

    March 28, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. JB

    The guy has basically one person financially supporting his campaign. Perhaps he got tired of throwing money down the drain, which is where this campaign is headed. But not for stubbornness and colossal ego, this fiasco should've ended months ago.

    March 28, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. steven harnack

    Real debaters get no points for attacking the moderators, and people who want to "use the media to get their message out" probably shouldn't call them liars. I wish that the media, from this point on, would just choose to ignore him instead of playing punching bag for him.

    March 28, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Freddo

    "I think you have to respond to reality ..."

    Newt, if that were the case, you'd have already dropped out of the race. Reality seems to be ... eluding you.

    March 28, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Michael Q

    For a smart guy, this guy just doesn't get it. His fifteen minutes of glory/fame ended in the 1990's.

    March 28, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Ben Thare

    Hey, Newt ... whatever happened to "I'm going to be the nominee" ? That smugness has come back to haunt you.

    March 28, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. pam

    Dear Newt, while you are my favorite, your past personal life has ruined your chances. Please give up now and back a candidate that has a chance.

    March 28, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Newt really needs to blame himself for being foolish, and only trying to appeal to the haters and bigots that make up his base.

    March 28, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. kris

    Do they get unemployment?

    March 28, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. ToldUso

    That's OK, he's done enough to sell his next book. Might be a coloring book, but a book nonetheless.

    March 28, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. k

    electile dysfunction

    The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for President put forth by either party during an election year.

    March 28, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. James K.

    The Grinich should fault his own big mouth.

    March 28, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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