Increasingly pressed for cash, Newt Gingrich's campaign is trying out a new fundraising tactic: charging supporters $50 for a photo with the candidate.
Campaign staffers had been taking those photos and later posting them online, but on Monday they began asking for credit card information first, National Journal reports.
In an email to reporters, Gingrich press secretary R.C. Hammond defended the fee, writing, "Did you see reports today we are charging for photos? Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate. We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation. And guess what, it is working."
Hammond also stressed the importance of the campaign's small donors and worked in a plug for the campaign's online store, "where supporters can make a donation to receive a hat, a shirt or even a bandana for your dog" -- a relative bargain at $7.50.
Gingrich's campaign raised $2.6 million in February, a sharp decrease from previous months. Federal Election Commission filings from last month show his campaign $1.6 million in debt, more than any of his three remaining rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.