Almost half of Newt’s campaign debt came from chartered jets

I don’t know how I missed this item last week: Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller took a look at Newt Gingrich’s campaign filings and found where a big chunk of the sometime-Georgian’s $1 million campaign debt came from:

He blames his consultants who resigned en masse last month. But the Gingrich campaign’s FEC report shows that nearly half of the debt comes from charting private airplanes. More specifically, the campaign owes $451,946.00 to Moby Dick Airways LTD.

Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond tells me Gingrich was unaware of the financial situation until the consultants left. Once problems became apparent, Gingrich made several changes — “part of which included replacing private travel with commercial.”

(H/t: Hot Air)

While the stories about Gingrich’s charge account at Tiffany’s and Mediterranean vacation would seem to corroborate the former speaker’s expensive tastes — and perhaps a sense of entitlement about how members of the political class are supposed to live — this report is more damning than those in my mind.

Nothing about this is good: It is inconceivable that Gingrich was unaware either that he was flying in chartered airplanes — rather than, you know, waiting for Zone 4 to be called for Delta Flight 2568 to Des Moines — or that a chartered flight was the more expensive option. And while plenty of political candidates use chartered planes to make their campaigning more time-efficient, it doesn’t behoove a candidate for president who says he can right the nation’s finances not to know that his campaign couldn’t afford such an expense.

This story isn’t about class warfare or populist bashing of the private-jet industry. It concerns not how he spent his own money, which is his right to do as he sees fit, but his use of money entrusted to him as a candidate for elected office. It isn’t very becoming of a would-be fiscal fixer.

At this point, however, stories like this are less about the 2012 presidential race than the denouement of a once-powerful Georgian’s political career.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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43 comments Add your comment


July 18th, 2011
10:49 am

He doesn’t want any TSA agents groping his junk.

Former Newt Supporter

July 18th, 2011
10:49 am

Obama belongs in prison.

As a former Newt supporter, Gingrich can share his cell and be Obama’s Daddy Bear (assuming Larry Sinclair needs a break from it).

stands for decibels

July 18th, 2011
10:50 am

it doesn’t behoove a candidate for president who says he can right the nation’s finances not to know that his campaign couldn’t afford such an expense.

Thing is, he never really was a candidate for president (I don’t think)–he was merely a fund-raiser. That’s all he’s been from what I can tell for quite some time now, flitting from one little scam to the next.


July 18th, 2011
10:51 am

I’m sure he thought it was a way to save money by using private jets. On Southwest Air, he might get charged for two seats.


July 18th, 2011
10:56 am

Yep I think you are right Kyle, the man is a train wreck.


July 18th, 2011
11:20 am

I thought everyone knew our politicians are entitled to nothing but the best. Just ask them to live and suffer like the rest of us and watch them look down on you like the peon they believe you are.


July 18th, 2011
11:52 am

I think only a few Democrats hoping for a man they could easily defeat considered Newt a legit candidate. I know I don’t know any libertarians, Republicans, or Tea Party types that gave him even a second thought.

Don't Tread

July 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

Newt’s too good to fly with us ordinary people (whom he’s trying to get votes from) and decided to spend money he doesn’t have on private planes instead.

Looks like the bad karma is catching up with him.


July 18th, 2011
12:12 pm

This is the “Thought Leadership” of the Republican Party…good to know that he holds the same fiscal and moral standards as the rest of the bunch.


July 18th, 2011
12:19 pm

Just imagine how many places you could visit in first class on a commercial airline for $452,000. I’ve never agreed you with Kyle (usually criticizing your intelligence in my disagreements). However, YOU ARE RIGHT (this one time). Newt obviously does not have the financial sense to run a campaign or to be the POTUS. Guess now I have to support Palin as my favorite Democratic fodder candidate .


July 18th, 2011
12:48 pm

Don’t forget–Newt also thought he was too good to fly “coach” on Air Force One because they made him use the back stairs to exit.

I didn’t realize Newt had his own Wikipedia knockoff page:

Tyler Durden

July 18th, 2011
12:55 pm

Given their support of previous efforts that led to our deficit, few if any of the GOP candidates can claim to be good stewards of money. All they can claim with absolute certainty is a highly convenient form of amnesia regarding their unabashed lockstep support of Bush and the GOP policies under his helm.

Someone once famously said: we are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. That person was obviously not a Republican :-)


July 18th, 2011
12:56 pm

After thinking this over, it reminds me of or Governor as far as debts. Both will sleep well, I’m sure.

stranger in a strange land

July 18th, 2011
12:59 pm

….former speaker’s expensive tastes — and perhaps a sense of entitlement about how members of the political class are supposed to live….

If there was a ever a statement that begs a..DUH!!…response – that’s it. Although one could make the same statement 90% (liklely a conservative estimate) of DC politicos.


July 18th, 2011
1:00 pm

Send Newt some more campaign contributions. He needs to be able to charter planes and buy jewelry for his new wife.


July 18th, 2011
1:12 pm

Newt’s financial statement shows yet again that Newt will throw anyone under the bus as long as no one makes him personally accountable for the mistakes he’s made. The word is that Newt would “waltz” into the race and win the GOP nomination with little effort. Since he was the “frontrunner” in his mind, he felt entitled to fly however he wanted to. Unfortunately for Newt, reality smacked him hard in the face. Sympathy? I have none.


July 18th, 2011
1:17 pm

It’s time we had another president who rides horses.

Just Saying..

July 18th, 2011
1:20 pm

The actual denouement was the day he hooked up with Callista…


July 18th, 2011
1:22 pm

What you have to understand about Newt is that he is like a stock promoter, only the stock he is promoting is himself through his political excursions and Newt, Inc. Now, he has plenty of cash to personally pay for all this but don’t count on it if you are a creditor and were not wise enough to get a personal guaranty. Promoters always use other people’s money.

The Snark

July 18th, 2011
1:35 pm

Tyler Durden:

You’re right. The quote belongs to the late Sen. Patrick Moynihan (D-NY).

Personally, I’m happy for Newt to fly private jets. I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting next to him on a commercial airliner. He’s probably try to sell me one of his fatuous books, or a twelve-CD course on “How To Talk Like Newt.” Just like Sarah Palin, the guy is all about the bucks.


July 18th, 2011
1:59 pm

Newts campaign was DOA. Polarizing personalities like Gingrich or (Nancy) Pelosi don’t have a chance of getting into the white house. Being speaker of the house would seem to prevent a successful run for the White House in modern times. Whether from the right or left, they tend to be hated , polarizing characters.

It would seem that Newt is a narcissistic, financially inept candidate with no clear identification with “Joe Sixpack”

Jesse Ventura for President

July 18th, 2011
2:03 pm

I wish this guy would just give it up already. He is really giving our state a bad name.


July 18th, 2011
2:06 pm

Clearly this guy is more qualified than most to be president of the US. Big debts, “let them eat cake” attitude. Just like the past dozen or so losers that infested the White House.

Meanwhile on the reality front, Ron Paul came in second with 4.5 million, very little spent so far (mostly on ads in Iowa, NH, and Nevada). And much like the last election cycle, he has raised more from folks who list one of the braches of the military as their employer than ALL other republicans combined.

The warmongers in the republican party that he is running against might find his sensible foreign policy of non-interventionism too “scary”, but the active and retired military personnel seem to feel differently, Maybe if we are to “support the troops” we should pay attention to the person they would like as their commander in chief.

Knight: How do you now she is a witch?

Man in crowd: She turned me into a NEWT.

Knight: She turned you into a NEWT?

Man in crowd: I got better.

Pay It Up

July 18th, 2011
2:09 pm

Newt needs to pawm some of his wife’s Tiffany’s bling to get some cash, quick! Those primaries will be here soon.

So many idiots, not enough poets

July 18th, 2011
2:17 pm

Hey now, don’t judge him too harshly. After all, jewelry from Tiffany’s doesn’t come to your wife all by itself you know. NObama, NObama, Newt, Newt, Newt!!!!!

So many idiots, not enough poets

July 18th, 2011
2:19 pm

So when people say that “anyone” would be better than Obama, are they including Newt in that context?

Toe Maine

July 18th, 2011
2:34 pm

The salamander and his current wife cannot be expected to fly amongst ordinary mortals, even if it be 1st class. Any member of the royal-butted GOP must have his own jet fit for king Lear.

Rafe Hollister

July 18th, 2011
2:48 pm

Newt, toot, who gives a hoot!

Obama is threatening to veto, Cut, Cap, and Balance. The man is just absolutely going to continue to spend, damn the torpedos. He has no intention of abiding by any limits on government excess. God help us make it to 2012!


July 18th, 2011
3:00 pm

Nothing new,Please let us serve you.Until elected then screw you.We need a two party system.Not a two wing system,stemming from an establishment party.

Check these stats

July 18th, 2011
3:08 pm

Moby Dick Airways sums it up!


July 18th, 2011
3:20 pm

Cut cap and balance has always been DOA because it is a bad bill.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

July 18th, 2011
4:44 pm

Does anyone here really think obozo has any idea what his plane trips cost?

Or even cares?

Not to stick up for Newt, who was done before he got started.


July 18th, 2011
4:47 pm


Maybe commercial airlines couldn’t provide a big enough compartment for his overHEAD?

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 18th, 2011
8:05 pm

The Idiot Messiah told Republicans “don’t call my bluff”. Hmm. Only a retard lets on that he’s bluffing.


July 18th, 2011
9:07 pm

Kyle, Did you notice that this topic was not very popular? We have one of the greatest impasses going on in DC that will impact our AAA rating & our grandchildren. Hello!
Isn’t funny that the fed. govt. borrowed from Peter to pay Paul, & when Peter’s funds ran out, the fed. govt. borrowed from Peter’ children, grandchildren & great grandchildren, who aren’t even born yet, to keep paying Paul?


July 18th, 2011
9:18 pm

There is absolutely no concrete evidence that Obama nor the Democrats have any intention whatsoever to stop spending, let alone to cut spending. Obama is playing his poker cards, except he has NO cards in his hands. What he’s shuffling are his teleprompters.


July 18th, 2011
10:21 pm

President Obama doesn’t care about the deficit. They haven’t passed a budget and don’t care to.
Eventually, this well end and end badly. Newt is smart on tactics but poor on operating details. Too bad, he is one of the better thinkers in Washington.


July 18th, 2011
11:21 pm

Linda and Tall, you are both buffoons. Obama offered a plan that was $4T, that was 83% spending cuts to only 17% tax increases and Eric Cantor refused this deal. Boehner was ready to take the deal until Cantor had a hissy fit over the small amount of increased revenues.

Anyone with half a brain, including Greenspan and McKinsey and Co., are saying you can’t make a significant dent in the deficit without increased revenue. Grow a brain please.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 19th, 2011
6:07 am

Your Idiot Messiah’s plan was rejected because the economy-wrecking tax increases were immediate and the spending cuts were illusory and delayed into the distant future.

It’s the spending, stupid.

Lil' Barry Bailout

July 19th, 2011
6:13 am

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies . . . Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

- Lil’ Barry Bailout


July 19th, 2011
6:50 am

The Republican Agenda is to do whatever needs to be done to run the economy back into the ditch so President Obama will not be re-elected. They have no intention of “negotiating” on anything. How else can you explain such stupid behavior on all fronts? When the economy showed signs of improving they panicked. With dingbat candidates like Newt and Bachmann what else could they do? The sad thing is they don’t care what they do to the American people to achieve their warped agenda. I hate to see Eric Cantor’s smirking face.

So many idiots, not enough poets

July 19th, 2011
8:09 am

Apparently Lil Barry Bailout and the like have no problem buying things and then not paying for them. After all, that what the debt ceiling allows us to do. Also, it’s constitutionaly mandated that the United States pay it’s bills, but I guess that escapes them as well. These must be the same people who run up credit cards and then declare bankruptcy. Posturing by deadbeats who refuse to take responsibility for their actions gets you no credibility. (but then again, Lil Barry Bailout and co aren’t interested in good credit).

Junior Samples

July 19th, 2011
10:50 am

Don’t blame yourself Kyle, it wasn’t one of the talking points on Fox.