While most politicos where looking to a New York Congressman to resign, other resignations were taking place. Most of the Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich top staffers resigned in Mass today citing disagreements on how to move the campaign forward. We know that former South Carolina GOP Leader Katon Dawson left and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue just threw his support to Tim Pawlenty
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.
“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:
“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.”
Rick Tyler, who quit as Gingrich’s spokesman, cited “a difference of opinion on how to move forward” as the reason why he, campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategist Dave Carney and others left the campaign.
The mass exodus from Gingrich’s campaign, which has sputtered from the beginning, could scare off would-be financial contributors and other supporters.
Gingrich said in a statement he was still in the race.
“I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” he said. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”
The Republican race to find a candidate to challenge President Barack Obama has been slow to start and Republicans complain the candidates so far are not strong enough.
Obama retains a big lead over possible Republican rivals in the 2012 election despite anxiety about the economy and the country’s future, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll this week.
Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, faced questions about his commitment to the campaign. Shortly after launching his 2012 race last month, he went on a two-week vacation with his third wife, Callista.
Tyler, a longtime fixture at Gingrich’s side, said there were questions about “mostly a time commitment,” declining to comment further.
“We had two different visions of a path to victory,” Tyler said.
The list of resigning officials included leaders of Gingrich’s operations in the early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina as well as Gingrich’s home state of Georgia.