Newt Gingrich: 2012 Campaign Staff Exodus Makes Me 'Feel Liberated' (VIDEO)
Last week, news of aides jumping ship from the Gingrich 2012 political operation sent shockwaves across the political spectrum. Campaign manager Rob Johnson and spokesman Rick Tyler were just two of numerous members of the presidential candidate's team to resign.
"I frankly feel liberated," said Gingrich in addressing the campaign upheaval. "With the exception of only one person, all of my original team is still with me. And in every single state where we loss some people, we've actually gained new people who are excited by the idea that we could have a genuinely different grassroots campaign to change Washington."
HuffPost's Jon Ward reported on the campaign shake-up last week:
Newt Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler confirmed to The Huffington Post Thursday that he and other top aides to the Republican presidential candidate have quit, but said it was over a difference of campaign philosophies and not because they questioned his commitment to running an all-out campaign.
“It’s not laziness,” Tyler said by phone. “He’s the hardest working person I know. It’s just, I’ll just leave it at our paths to victory are different.”
“There were two visions, two paths to victory, and Newt’s path and my understanding of the path to victory were different, and when that happens, then the candidate’s vision has got to prevail,” he added.
However, Gingrich's pursuit of the White House was off to a rocky start even before the mass departure of staff from his campaign.
Controversy recently sparked by critical remarks Gingrich made about a controversial budget plan introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) drew intense criticism from the right side of the aisle. The AP relays background on what ensued following the flare-up:
Days of bad press followed revelations that he had a no-interest loan account at Tiffany's worth up to $500,000. And just as the GOP presidential race began to heat up, Gingrich disappeared on a luxury cruise in the Greek Isles with his wife, Callista
Despite the setbacks, Gingrich signaled last weekend that he's staying in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
"I will endure the challenges. I will carry the message of American renewal to every part of this great land," he said while addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition in Los Angeles. "And with the help of every American who wants to change Washington, we will prevail."