Former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich grimaces at the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) meeting at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, February 10, 2011. The CPAC is a project of the American Conservative Union Foundation. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) (© Larry Downing / Reuters)

Newt's senior campaign staff quits en masse

This could mark the end of Gingrich's faltering presidential campaign


Justin Elliott
June 9, 2011 11:23PM (UTC)

(UPDATED) Newt Gingrich's senior staff resigned en masse today, dealing a potentially fatal blow to his already faltering presidential campaign.

According to various reports those quitting include campaign manager Rob Johnson, adviser and former South Carolina GOP chair Katon Dawson, and Gingrich's longtime spokesman, Rick Tyler. Their reasons for quitting were not immediately clear.

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Gingrich has been out of the country for the past two weeks on a cruise in Greece.

He launched his campaign just a month ago and immediately faced a series of humiliating mini-scandals, including his flip-flop on the Republican Medicare plan and media scrutiny of his hundreds of thousands of dollars of spending at Tiffany's.

Gingrich said last month that Ronald Reagan, too, had struggled in the early days of his ultimately successful campaign for president in 1980.

UPDATE: Gingrich responds on Facebook: "I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles."

And here is Tyler's explanation for departing after over a decade at Gingrich's side: "There is a path to victory. But there was a dispute on what that path to victory was."


Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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