His staff resigns en masse, but Newt Gingrich says campaign ‘begins anew Sunday’

Newt Gingrich’s Republican presidential run was supposed to reach back to his Georgia roots, with a campaign run out of Buckhead.

He has never stepped foot in his Atlanta office – and now may never do so.

Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista Gingrich, spoke on Wednesday in Hudson, N.H. AP/Cheryl Senter

Republican presidential hopeful, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista Gingrich, spoke on Wednesday in Hudson, N.H. AP/Cheryl Senter

“There were disagreements about where the campaign needed to go, and [I] felt this was the right move. And wish him well,” said Scott Rials of Atlanta, Gingrich’s longtime ally and one several key aides who resigned en masse on Thursday.

Others included Gingrich’s key operatives in the first three state’s in next year’s presidential gauntlet.

The list, said Rials, included campaign manager Rob Johnson; Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s long-time spokesman; David Carney in New Hampshire; strategist Sam Dawson; Katon Dawson, a South Carolina consultant; and Craig Schoenfeld, Gingrich’s man in Iowa.

Rials said Gingrich intends to stay in the race. “That is my understanding,” Rials said. At 4 p.m., the Gingrich campaign dispatched the following quote from the candidate:

The view into Newt Gingrich’s third-floor campaign office in Atlanta, through a window in the alcove. The office was empty this afternoon, and no visible furniture in the office to indicated staff had not been there in awhile. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

The view into Newt Gingrich’s third-floor campaign office in Atlanta, through a window in the alcove. The office was empty this afternoon, and no visible furniture in the office to indicated staff had not been there in awhile. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

“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.”

But exactly how serious a candidate he remains is highly questionable.

Rials said Gingrich’s recent Mediterranean cruise – which ended this week – was a factor, “but no bigger than several other things.”

After a debut in Macon at the state Republican convention, Gingrich’s campaign immediately ran into trouble when, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he criticized U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to revamp Medicare – an effort that had just been endorsed by the House Republicans he once led.

A revelation that he and his wife Callista had once had a bill at Tiffany’s that could have been as high as $500,000 only served to underline Gingrich’s problem with the GOP’s evangelical base – his three marriages.

Gingrich was the only major Republican contender who skipped last week’s gathering of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition last week. Citing his previously scheduled vacation, Gingrich offered a video greeting instead.

Rials, who served as an aide to Gov. Sonny Perdue, said the split with his mentor wasn’t rancorous.

This stack of undelivered, letters sits on the small desk outside Newt Gingrich’s campaign office, along with some bumper stickers and other campaign literature. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

This stack of undelivered, letters sits on the small desk outside Newt Gingrich’s campaign office, along with some bumper stickers and other campaign literature. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

“It wasn’t a happy occasion, but it wasn’t an angry occasion. It was a professional disagreement. We shook hands and agreed that that was just a difference. Really, no one is mad at him, except that many of us see it as a missed opportunity. He doesn’t see it that way,” Rials said.

“I do wish him well. Brett Favre is my hero. But I’m betting on [Aaron] Rodgers if I’m going with the Green Bay Packers’ future,” Rials said.

Among Gingrich’s old friends and supporters in Georgia was Bill Byrne, the former Cobb County Commission chairman.

“When on a national news station, Newt slammed Congressman Ryan and his proposal as right wing extremist, at that point in time his campaign ended,” Byrne said. “And I think if you watch any of the polling data from any source — Republican, Democrat, Independent — Newt never breaks in to double digits.

“Of the announced candidates he’s always been at the very bottom and the last poll I saw yesterday showed Herman Cain has passed him. Political people realize his campaign is over with and he has self-destructed. Those who signed up now realize that,” Byrne said.

Though he remains a Virginia resident, Gingrich’s campaign was to have a heavily Georgia flavor. Gov. Nathan Deal, former Gov. Sonny Perdue, and former U.S. Sen. Zell Miller were named the official heads of the former U.S. House speaker’s campaign.

“The governor understands the speaker and his wife are taking personal time together at the moment. He has not yet had the opportunity to speak with him as of late on this. We don’t want to comment until the governor has had the chance to speak to the speaker,” said Stephanie Mayfield, the governor’s spokeswoman.

A collapsing Gingrich campaign would free Deal in particular to move to greener pastures. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in Atlanta for a major fund-raiser next week. Another candidate, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, is expected in the state later this month. And Herman Cain is actually running his campaign out of Stockbridge, Ga.

Georgia Democrats could not help but chortle. This was the first line of a press release issued in reaction:

Campaign staffers of Newt Gingrich’s flailing presidential bid walked off the job en masse today, demonstrating the power of organized labor and teamwork while serving in a hostile work environment.

- By Jim Galloway and Aaron Gould Sheinin, Political Insider

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134 comments Add your comment

Let the Big Dawg Eat

June 9th, 2011
3:05 pm

“Ain’t no sunshine since you’re gone….”

See ya later, Newtie, my boy. You might as well pack it all up.

The Producer

June 9th, 2011
3:05 pm

See Ya……

Elliot Garcia

June 9th, 2011
3:10 pm

I support Herman Cain for our next President!

Voting for future

June 9th, 2011
3:10 pm

Hes a Rino and I cant vote for Rino’s anymore. They do nothing but distroy. Time for a business solution as this country is a business and should be run as such. Herman Cain is my man.

Scot

June 9th, 2011
3:10 pm

Type faster, Jim, we need more details!

JSS

June 9th, 2011
3:10 pm

Tone deaf Gingrich strikes again!

Yes we Cain!

June 9th, 2011
3:12 pm

Gingrich has great ideas but is too flawed.

waynez

June 9th, 2011
3:12 pm

Newt…step away from the bong!!!

TERRY

June 9th, 2011
3:12 pm

Newt talks a good game, but at heart he is just another career politician who blows with the wind

ViagraNewt

June 9th, 2011
3:15 pm

Cruise =Better chance to cheat on another wife.
Get some Viagra Boy

Dave

June 9th, 2011
3:15 pm

It isn’t “Ted Kennedy’s seat.” It is the people’s seat. Some people need to work harder at remembering that.

[...] Jim Galloway offers the following speculation: No doubt Gingrich’s decision to go on a seven-day [...]

linda

June 9th, 2011
3:19 pm

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy……

markie mark

June 9th, 2011
3:20 pm

another in a series of spectacular flameouts for Newt….he should stay a policy wonk and understand his time came and went…..

Chuck

June 9th, 2011
3:21 pm

Wow. I didn’t reckon people working on Newt’s campaign staff to make respectable decisions.

Sick of Republicans

June 9th, 2011
3:22 pm

Or maybe they just realized they were working for a first class jerk??????

Cameron

June 9th, 2011
3:23 pm

This is why we need Michele Bachmann for President!

GTPHISH

June 9th, 2011
3:26 pm

Somone wake Fred Thompson up, Newt is in trouble.

TheAntiMe

June 9th, 2011
3:26 pm

I wonder if Newt’s excuse for his staff quitting on him will be the same excuse that he used for cheating on his wife? – It was because he was being such a patriot. I’m still trying not to barf over that one.

Gingrich and Anthony Weiner should run on the same ticket in the 2012 presidential race in Pervertia.

Newt is nuts

June 9th, 2011
3:27 pm

As a long-time fan of Newt on TV showing how daffy he can be on various subjects, I find myself a little sad on how far he has fallen.

This presidential season had shaped up as one of the most interesting, with Trump, Palin and Nutty Newt in the race. What in hell do we do now for humor?

Pawlenty and Romney are nowhere as interesting.

Bosch

June 9th, 2011
3:27 pm

” Time for a business solution as this country is a business and should be run as such.”

Wow, nothing like throwing out all your ignorance for all to see.

CPL MAC

June 9th, 2011
3:29 pm

GO HERMAN CAIN !!!!!

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO HERMAIN CAIN IS….YOU WILL. !!!!

HERMAN CAIN FOR PRESIDENT. A BUSINESS MAN. A “THINKER”. A “DOER”. A MAN OF PRINCIPALS.

Jeb

June 9th, 2011
3:29 pm

How will this affect the Dawgs’ 2012 recruiting class?

marco

June 9th, 2011
3:29 pm

While unarguably brilliant, Gingrich seems to be oblivious to what the rest of us see all around.

Tyler Durden

June 9th, 2011
3:30 pm

While ol’ Newt was ethically challenged, at least he’s smart and willing to challenge the fringe for their lack of substance (even if he gutlessly backs off a few days later)…

Now there’s nobody in the primary with any brains; just some pretenders kowtowing to the Liptonites and hoping no one looks behind the curtain or asks them to provide any specific details to back up their rhetoric.

Sounds good to me!!!

Donaldo

June 9th, 2011
3:31 pm

Newt. Your a has been, your better days are in the past. You are yesterdays news. Get on your stallion, and quietly ride into the sunset….cause you are done.

Idiot watcher

June 9th, 2011
3:32 pm

The worst campaign in the history of presidential campaigns continues to set new standards. Congrats, Newt, on your historical flame out. Let’s hope he continues to go down with the ship and doesn’t resurface. He done enough to this country.

TheAntiMe

June 9th, 2011
3:32 pm

Newt’s ship has sailed, literally!

Values

June 9th, 2011
3:34 pm

All you Cain supporters better wake up and realize that that experiment has been tried before, and failed (and is failing).
Draft Haley Barbour.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

June 9th, 2011
3:36 pm

Don’t fret Nuke, Maybe Rep. Anthony Weiner is about to look for some politically related work! Ha!

Fredo Corleone

June 9th, 2011
3:39 pm

Run, Newt, Run! As far away as you can! Perhaps Canada, eh??

charlie sheen

June 9th, 2011
3:39 pm

Newt, come see me, I’ve got some friends I’d like you to meet…they’re VERY patriotic

Billy Ray Valentine

June 9th, 2011
3:40 pm

Rob Johnson and Dave Carney, 2 of Gingrich’s biggest assets, both worked for Rick Perry in the past. Galloway should know that, and it definitely helps Perry more than Pawlenty or Romney.

eturn

June 9th, 2011
3:40 pm

Well Newt what goes around comes around.. karma…remember your past.

aRLEEN

June 9th, 2011
3:41 pm

So, the AJC finally allows comments on a story!! Figures they’d only do it for a negative story about a Republican. I’m sick of the AJC. I didn’t support Newt, but I like the AJC even less. GO HERMAN CAIN!!

e

June 9th, 2011
3:41 pm

newt quit once so why not a second time

jconservative

June 9th, 2011
3:44 pm

Typical of Gingrich.

His problem has always been lack of discipline. He can’t stay on message, and he can’t stay on schedule, And he has one of the most tender egos in American politics.

He was doing OK financially. He just needs to get out of active politics.

GT Anchorage

June 9th, 2011
3:44 pm

Herman Cain would be great. I just don’t know if he will get the support he needs to win in the primary. Gingrich is an establishment republican that would keep us on the exact same path we are on now. We need a fiscal conservative who is willing to make the hard decisions to get our economy booming again. In order to do that, we need to lower taxes and let the people spend. Americans are better at spending money than anyone.

YourPoliticalAnimal

June 9th, 2011
3:44 pm

Uh, why can’t Deal, Perdue, and Miller endorse Herman Cain??? . . . no, wait, I think I know the answer . . .

Now what about Gingrich, I’m worried about ole’ Newt, he just tossed his hat into the ring and his own party’s already givin’ him the big boot. He needs to have an epiphany, and yank his latest trophy wife outta Tiffany’s, so he can salvage his failing campaign which because of his outta control mouth has already caused so many Republicans so much political pain. When he was House speaker, he attacked a Prez named Bill, and now he claims to hate Obamacare, but he’s already admitted that with Obama’s health care policy’s individual mandate, he himself wants the nation to share. Imagine Newt as our Prez, his latest dutiful George Jetson trophy wife by his side . . . didn’t they first get together ’cause ole’ Newt was creepin’ on the slide??? Newt Gingrich is a bombthrower, his mouth creates too much drama . . . does any sane person really believe that this clown can beat Barack Hussein Obama???

(c) 2011, YourPoliticalAnimal, all rights reserved, not to be reproduced in any manner without the expressed consent of the author

WAW

June 9th, 2011
3:46 pm

I’m a Democrat who would be open to considering a Republican… if there was one. The Republican Party has no chance of replacing President Obama. Those being the facts… I have joined a group called DraftGates.com The country needs a man who can represent the middle majority. Robert Gates can. If Republicans would put aside the glitz, fear and “save the rich at any cost” campaigns and join with Moderate Democrats in a call to Sec. Gates in vast numbers, he would probably do as he’s done in the past and answer the call of his country. Use the search engines to check him out and remember that our history is that the people choose. The one man in America that will garner Democrats away from the Party is Robert Gates.

SpaceyG on Twitter

June 9th, 2011
3:47 pm

Better go check The Twitter…

Obama is DA SHIZ!!

June 9th, 2011
3:47 pm

Dumb Cracker! Ain’t nobody gonna beat Obama anyway!

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME

June 9th, 2011
3:49 pm

A sign of very bad things to come for the Newtster and all other Republicrazy nominees? You betcha!!!

You heard it here first, hillbilllys: “Barack Obama and Democrats 2012 – Delivering an Ass Whooping Like None Other ©”

dagnabit

June 9th, 2011
3:49 pm

The government is not a business. I want government to be run like a government.

Fletcher

June 9th, 2011
3:50 pm

He’s already had his turn with the “contract with America”, and that was a laugh. Leaving his wife to die with cancer while he had a new honey really does him no good either. I like his thoughts in the political arena, but he never carried them out. Good ridence.

Lexi

June 9th, 2011
3:51 pm

Err, isn’t the general election next year, 17 months away? Not exactly the space between a primary and general election. I recall Newt may be planning to go on an NRO cruise where he would be exchanging ideas with lots of “conservative” luminaries.

I am not a fan of Mr. Gingrich. He may be smart, but he’s fallen for the earth melting, I mean climate change, quackery, and is out of his element in assessing macroeconomic ideas, such as the last best hope budget/spending/tax reduction plans of true geniuses in the party. I also believe he has too much personal baggage to win a Republican nomination, and, too little to excite a democrat electorate.

Republicans = White Trash

June 9th, 2011
3:55 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Great Job Newt!!!

UNaffiliated Voter

June 9th, 2011
3:56 pm

Herman Cain / Michelle Bachman 2012!

notice how the mainscream media avoids Cain routinely….are they racists?

Mike Hunt

June 9th, 2011
4:00 pm

Our poor, proud country is in one hell of a mess. Newt is just another sad example of the shape of things to come.

joe

June 9th, 2011
4:01 pm

The fat lady has sung on Ole Newt…or wait, was that his first or second wife?