Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign imploded when his senior staff, entire Iowa operation, and national campaign co-chair quit en masse on Thursday afternoon. Suddenly the newly-liberated, long-suffering aides had a golden opportunity before them to exact some revenge: bash their ex-boss to an eager audience of political reporters. From the start, staffers had been nervous Gingrich couldn't commit to the long hours a campaign requires. That disastrous Medicare moment on Meet the Press? Gingrich had booked that himself, Boyer reports, instead of going on a more Republican-friendly platform. Eventually, two top staffers staged an intervention, The Daily Beast's Peter J. Boyer reports, telling Gingrich that he had to change his "appalling" strategy. Gingrich disagreed. The staffers quit, and took 14 aides with them, Politico's Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns report.
Disgruntled campaign staffers usually air their grievances anonymously--one of Sarah Palin's greatest complaints--but Gingrich's former crew largely went on the record. Let's see how they did.
Rick Tyler: Gingrich's spokesman, worked with him for 12 years Where He Griped: The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, ABC News, CBS News, and, well, it's kind of hard to keep up.
- Gingrich sometimes "puts unnecessary stumbling blocks in front of himself."
- "I hope he does well. He’s a great intellect... It's sad. But it's time to move on."
- "The campaign manager met with the senior advisers and Newt, and they couldn't find a mutually agreeable path forward... They decided to leave, and at that point, I decided that I had a disagreement with the path forward, and when that happens, the candidate's path forward is the path forward. It's not the staff's."
- "Key people were going to leave," but Tyler "held out hope we could change direction. I want him to do what it takes to win."