This post has been updated
Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign appears to have imploded, the day after the former House speaker returned from a two-week Mediterranean cruise, as key staffers have reportedly resigned en masse. The Associated Press reports:
Gingrich press spokesman Rick Tyler told The Associated Press that he's resigned along with campaign manager Rob Johnson, senior strategists and aides in key early primary states.
The resignation includes Gingrich's entire paid Iowa campaign team, the Des Moines Register reports.
Gingrich released the following statement on Facebook: "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."
Gingrich's campaign had gotten off to a bad start, largely due to his criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) budget plan, which was adopted by House Republicans. Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering" during a May 15 appearance on NCB's "Meet the Press." Gingrich would later apologize to Ryan and claim he hadn't been referring to Ryan's plan when he used those words.
The former House speaker was also mocked for his wife's large, revolving expense account at Tiffany's. He also had glitter dumped on him at a book-signing in Iowa.