What’s happened to the Gingrich campaign?

Posted by: ST on June 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm


WASHINGTON — The entire top echelon of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. But the former House speaker vowed defiantly to remain a candidate.

“I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” the Gingrich said in a posting to his Facebook page. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”

NBC News confirmed the departures to Gingrich’s team, including spokesman Rick Tyler, campaign manager Rob Johnson, and strategists Dave Carney and Sam Dawson.

Tyler told NBC, “There is a path to victory … But there was a dispute on what that path to victory was.” Tyler was with the former House speaker for nearly 12 years. “I have no regrets. I admire him deeply. I hope he does become president.”

Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his headquarters in Washington. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign.

“We had a different vision for victory,” Tyler told The Associated Press. “And since we couldn’t resolve that difference, I didn’t feel I could be useful in serving him.”

He said Gingrich was not allowing enough time to campaign in key states.

Carney also spoke to NBC saying, “The professional team came to the realization that the direction of the campaign they sought and Newt’s vision for the campaign were incompatible.”

Carney, who was heading up Gingrich’s efforts in New Hampshire, is former aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who may be mulling his own White House run. And Johnson, Gingrich’s (now former) campaign manager, ran Perry’s election bid last year.

“Nothing has changed,” Perry’s spokesman, Mark Miner, said in an interview on Thursday. “The governor is focused on the legislative session.”

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Check out this intriguing CBS report:

With confirmation that Gingrich’s top advisers have quite en masse, this obviously means his campaign is all but done, which frankly was only a matter of time and comes as a surprise to no one. The more interesting question for 2012 is what this means for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Sources close to Perry tell me he is now “serious” about a presidential bid. He has been talking with his big money donors for the past week, and they had a conference call on Monday to talk assembling a possible 2012 campaign.

But the rub was this: There was no way Perry would run for president without his top political consultant, Dave Carney. And it also would be nice to have his former campaign manager, Rob Johnson, on board.

Unfortunately for Perry, both of those guys were working on Gingrich 2012. Carney was advising Gingrich in New Hampshire and Johnson was Gingrich’s senior political adviser. As one top Republican strategist told me on Tuesday, the canary in the coal mine for a Perry presidential run is whether Carney would leave Newt.

Wowsers. Perry throwing his hat into the ring would really shake things up for GOP presidential wannabes. He is well-liked in conservative circles and has a distinguished political pedigree, is mostly scandal-free, and I think he’s someone who has the potential to flatten our celebrity President in the debates.

What do you think?

Update/Related – 7:10 PM: Kevin Williamson – Rick Perry Puts a Toe In

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18 Responses to “What’s happened to the Gingrich campaign?”


  1. Phineas says:

    Perry is the one entrant I think could keep Palin from running. They’re very close ideologically, they’re friends, and he would be a serious contender the moment he entered the race.

    I could easily back him.

  2. Tango says:

    ….how does Gov Perry feel about “drill, baby drill?”

  3. At least one of Gingrich’s team members went to Pawlenty’s team:
    In addition, one of his national campaign co-chairs defected Thursday to former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign, according to a Pawlenty campaign release. Former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Gingrich’s home state of Georgia moved over to the competing campaign.
    I would like to see Perry enter the race. The more the merrier.

  4. Conservative texan says:

    As a RNC member, contributor to conservative candidates and Texan I have to tell you – you have no idea what a moron this guy is. He is NOT particularly popular in Texas and is very unlikely to do well in a debate. Watch some of his gubernatorial race debates (when he had the guts to do them). Until the Republican wave year against a very weak opponent he had never had a convincing statewide win in Texas. He’s an utter empty suit guys who backed into the governership and has managed to get very lucky in his opponents.

  5. Brontefan says:

    I don’t think Gingrich is a player in this go-round.

  6. Great White Rat says:

    I like Perry and could easily back him as well.

    The only thing that gives me pause is his current position. It’s ready-made for Democrat scare tactics. I can see the ads already: remember how awful it was the last time a Texas governor went into the White House (dark ominous music playing in the background)?

    The issue has to be the Vacationer-in-Chief’s abysmal record, but this gives them an opening to bring the ‘blame Bush’ nonsense back to the forefront. It will require a lot of discipline in Perry’s campaign to ignore the tactic and concentrate their fire squarely where it belongs.

  7. bob jones says:

    I wouldn’t be so high on Perry. He is a known Bilderberger, in other words just like the last 4 presidents America does not come first with him, NWO guys all.

  8. Drew the Infidel says:

    Gingrich should not have taken his Mediterranean cruise during a crucial time in the campaign but at a more appropriate time, like now, since he is washed up.

  9. Scott D says:

    Rick Perry will be elected President in 2012.

    He crushes the entire GOP field and with Romney as VP it’s all over but the crying and whining of the Democrats and Media.

  10. Paul says:

    Newt is toast…

  11. Jack Deth says:

    Newt was a great stategist years ago, but he’s entirely too chummy with the left. Basically an uber RINO, A few steps short of irrelevancy, who will garner few if any votes should he decide to run. :o

    I like Perry, but I like Palin, Bachman and Cain much more! :d

  12. Tex says:

    I never saw Gingrich as a viable candidate to begin with. A lot of conservatives still hold him responsible for the melt-down of the Republican Party in the 1990s. He had his chance before and blew it as far as I’m concerned.

    As for Perry, I’m with “Conservative texan” on this one. Perry has few friends amongst conservatives in Texas. I’ve not met anyone who likes him here. And I work with lots of hard-core conservatives. We’ve lived under his governorship for years now. He’s pretty underwhelming on everything he does except for entertaining his ego. Perry only cares about Perry. The guy is a moron. He wins not by being the best candidate on the ticket but by being the lesser of two evils. He’s always afraid to debate anyone because he just can’t hack it. Trust me, you do not want Perry in any national position of power. He’ll only embarrass the country as he has embarrassed us here in Texas. He’s the Republican version of Bill Clinton. There are far, far smarter and more capable candidates out there in the Republican Party than Perry.

  13. Phineas says:

    As an outsider, I can only judge by what I see in Texas’ record over the last few years and assume the governor has something to do with it, so I’m finding these comments from Texas conservatives genuinely interesting.

    Which leads me to ask: if Perry is the nothing-burger that’s been described, why hasn’t he faced a serious primary challenge?

  14. ST says:

    Anthony, from what I understand, most of the disgruntled anti-Perry folks are supporters of Kay Bailey Hutchison …

  15. captaingrumpy says:

    I still back Sarah.

  16. Carlos says:

    I’ve withheld comment until my blood pressure went down.

    Frankly, I view Gingrich as not a whole bunch better (morally) than Weiner, or Edwards, or any of a bunch of other jackasses (both “R” and “D”) that could be named. For a man with the social history he has to be playing to the “Family Values” crowd says more to me about the “Family Values” crowd than what they scream.

  17. Peter says:

    I have a problem with giving Perry much credit for Texas’s weathering the economy better than the rest of the nation. It’s that Texas is a weak-governor state. The Governor has much less power than in most states, as a matter of fact the Lt. Gov here is more powerful.

    I further have a problem with Perry in that he has never, since he graduated college, had a serious private sector job.

    On the plus side, he’s been fairly scandal free. The two closest were that we’ll build that big highway and then let a private company collect the tolls thing (see weak governor) and that deal where he was going along with the medical people about having sixth grade girls get some kind of immunization for some STD that didn’t even exist back when I paid attention to such things.

    Perry would be better than Romney but then, so would a potted plant.

  18. Carlos says:

    So Peter, what you’re saying is the potted plant we have for a glorious leader now is better than the cactus weed that is Perry?

    Seems to be just about a toss-up to me. Perry’s a “conservative” the same way GW and his daddy were – not at all.

    Just out of curiosity, what has been his take on having Mexican trucks travel at will on Texas freeways? Seems to me that should be fairly important since Texas would bear the brunt of the unlicensed (and all too often drunk) truckers from Mexico creating terror on their roads.