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Speaking to reporters outside his suburban
“There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run.” He also said that “we’ll find out over the next year who’s right.”
He received a vote of confidence on Friday from one high-profile backer:
“When the going gets rough, I don’t cut and run on my friends,” Deal said Friday.
Still, whether the former House speaker remains a viable candidate is now in serious doubt.
Already, his opponents in the Republican field are scrambling to capitalize on the upheaval, courting disillusioned Gingrich donors and picking off key campaign supporters.
News of the Gingrich staff exodus had barely registered Thursday before former
Gingrich is set to deliver what is billed as a major foreign policy address to the
But political strategists said the 67-year-old Gingrich — already mounting an uphill fight for the Republican nomination — now faces nearly insurmountable obstacles.
“It is coming to a quick and merciful end,” Galen said, comparing Gingrich’s comeback bid to “watching a really great prize fighter come back for one last fight that he never should have.”
A political campaign in disarray will struggle to raise money and attract talented staff. On Thursday, Gingrich appeared to be leading a campaign without an infrastructure.
To be sure, presidential campaigns have gotten past staff shake-ups before.
But the sudden void in camp Gingrich cuts wide and deep. In addition to losing his campaign manager, senior adviser and longtime press aide, he also saw key staff in the pivotal early primary and caucus states of
Perhaps most problematic for the former
His campaign has suffered from a rocky rollout.
Within days of formally announcing he would run, he blundered on
Fresh off a public relations brouhaha over news that he had a
He raised eyebrows by skipping the
And at the core of the dispute with aides was a sharp disagreement over strategy.
Gingrich is intent on using technology and splashy appearances at debates and national television programs to boost his prospects. His senior team argued he must still do the grass-roots appearances in key states.
“The visions were different and they were incompatible,” said his longtime spokesman,
In a meeting and conference call with his senior staff, aides said Gingrich refused to hand over his private schedule or to commit to spending the necessary time on the ground in pivotal states.
“You need to be here. You need to spend the resources here,” said
The disagreement reinforces Gingrich’s image as a campaign dilettante, only in the race to promote his private mini-empire. Gingrich’s campaign appearances have often coincided with screenings to promote documentaries he and his wife have produced. He has a new book on American exceptionalism set to hit bookstores on Monday.
Some say that while his prospects as a legitimate contender for the
“If he’s running as provocateur in chief, this could actually help him,” observed
And not everyone was running for the hills.
“Of course I’m not leaving him,” former