For the first time since his campaign saw a huge staff shake up, Newt Gingrich spoke to media outside his McLean, Va. home today, citing "strategic differences" between himself and the departed staff.
"We had a strategic disagreement about how to run a campaign," Gingrich said. "There have been very few campaigns that have been solutions oriented and that are oriented to every single American."
In response to reports that staffers disagreed with his dedication to campaigning, Gingrich was defiant and said he plans to campaign "very intensely."
"I'm prepared to go out and to campaign very intensely but I want a campaign on ideas and on solutions and I want to do it in a way that brings Americans together into a large movement."
"There is a fundamental strategic difference between the traditional consulting community and the kind of campaign I want to run. Now we'll find out over the next year who's right."
On reports about a rift between the campaign staff and his wife, Callista, Gingrich said they make decisions together.
Fred Barnes writes at The Weekly Standard:
The problem was the wife. Aides to Newt Gingrich have resigned from his presidential campaign in protest of what they felt was a takeover by Callista Gingrich, the candidate’s wife since 2000.At Mullings, Rich Galen explains:
The euphemism offered by departing staffers was they disagreed with Gingrich’s “strategy” for the campaign. Indeed, they did disagree. But it was a strategy – a part-time campaign, in effect – that Gingrich’s wife favored.
Several aides, including campaign manager Rob Johnson, met with Gingrich on Thursday morning and told him of the senior staff’s unanimous decision to quit. Gingrich later put out a statement saying he was staying in the race.
The last straw for the campaign staff was Gingrich’s decision to go on a two-week cruise in the Mediterranean, from which he returned on Tuesday. His advisers urged him not to go and take so much time from a campaign that was already in trouble. But his wife wanted him to go and she won the argument.
There is a reason that just about every airliner looks like every other airliner. Some are larger, some smaller; some have two engines, some four, but they generally look alike. There is a reason for that. There is a design solution that fits commercial airliners. They take off, they go where the pilot aims them, they land, and they can carry enough passengers to make money. Same with political campaigns. Every cycle candidates say, "We're going to run a different type of campaign." They all look pretty much alike because there is an engineering design solution for political campaigns. Things change. On-line fundraising instead of using the USPS was new. So were digital avionics instead of analog instruments. But those things are updates, not fundamental changes.