Newt Gingrich, also known as ‘the man with nine lives’ is now fighting for his political life as he chases after the chance to be President. After tanking numbers in all the major polls for criticizing Paul Ryans budget plans, the former House Speaker may have been dealt a ‘deathblow’ late Thursday afternoon. 16 members of his campaign team- including former Georgia Sonny Perdue, abruptly walked out, defecting to rival Republicans. But the 67-year old Gingrich, never one to flinch in the face of oncoming disaster- vowed to press on. His next act in this strange saga, is to head to Beverly Hills to address the Republican Jewish Coalition’s “Summer Bash.” Going directly to Facebook with his message, Gingrich simply stated, “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.”
Mr Gingrich’s six-member Iowa team, led by director Craig Schoenfeld, also walked out on Gingrich. In a written statement, Schoenfeld’s response was only, “There needs to be an investment of candidate time, to not only actually do the retail politics but do the fund-raising and everything else. It was not evident that what I thought needed to be done meshed with what he thought could be done.”
Almost immediately after announcing his run for the Presidency on May 11, Gingrich caused an uproar when he viciously attacked Paul Ryan’s budget plan- violating the unspoken mantra of Ronald Reagan: ‘never criticize a fellow Republican.’ In a mere four days, Gingrich had all but alienated himself from the ‘right-wing,’ calling Ryan’s plan ”right-wing social engineering.” A few days later Gingrich would shy away from the comments, as he apologized to Paul Ryan personally, via phone-call. Adding insult to injury, it was discovered that he and his third wife, Callista, had owed $500,000 to Tiffany’s jeweler. Then the Gingrichs’ took off for Greece on a two-week cruise, leaving his campaign team fuming, just as his Republican competitors were getting into campaign mode.
The Republican field remains unsettled, with speculation that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani could try again, having failed dismally in 2008. Property tycoon Donald Trump continues to cause mischief, threatening in a YouTube video to run for president if the Republicans ”make the wrong choice”. Echoing Mr Gingrich’s criticism of the Ryan fiscal plan, Mr Trump warned Republicans that to meddle with Medicare risked electoral suicide.
”When they tamper with Medicare … they have a death wish,” Mr Trump said. ”The Democrats are laughing at the stupidity of the Republicans and this Ryan plan.”