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"Newtiny!" Gingrich Top Staffers Jump Ship. | News

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"Newtiny!" Gingrich Top Staffers Jump Ship.
News, People, Politics
"Newtiny!" Gingrich Top Staffers Jump Ship.

  When Newt Gingrich was in Macon for the state GOP convention last month, his longtime campaign spokesman Rick Tyler was never more than a half-step away to fend off reporters and point out the big money in the room.

   On Thursday Tyler and a half dozen top advisors, including campaign manager Rob Johnson and honorary co-chair former Governor Sonny Perdue all defected, or in the words of one Twitter user, mounted a "Newtiny."

   The orchestrated move left "Team-Gingrich" with almost no first-string players.

   "A lot of the damage is done," said Charlie Harper, editor of the Peach Pundit. "I frankly don't know how he becomes relevant at this point."

   The Peach Pundit is considered by many to be the insider's guide to Georgia politics.

   Harper says Gingrich has been dogged by blunders and missteps that came early and often, including an ill-timed vacation at the height of the spring political cycle.  He returned to the campaign trail only Wednesday.

   "Getting out of the way for a little bit, getting out of the spotlight after a bunch of self-inflicted wounds is not a bad idea," said Harper. "I'm not sure a Mediterranean cruise was a way to get out of the spotlight.  But when you get back from vacation and find that you have no staff... it's a bad day."

   A bad day that got worse when Sonny Perdue announced that he was jumping ship too, likely taking others with him.

   "Politics is a war of attrition," said Harper.  "And there's attrition going on in the Gingrich camp.  Will he be able to stop the bleeding?  Will some of his closer supporters stand up and say 'We're still with him?'  Is he able to somehow come out with any level of new support?"

   Gingrich said on Facebook Thursday that he is staying in the race for President, and will "begin anew" in Los Angeles on Sunday, a day before the New Hampshire debate with other presidential hopefuls.

   "I understand he's going to re-launch or re-brand his campaign in California," said Harper.  "Los Angeles... not exactly a republican bastion. But it is a great place if you're into alternative realities. Maybe that's where he needs to be right now."

News, People, Politics