Gingrich's 2012 Campaign Kills His PAC

The once-major fundraiser couldn't survive his presidential ambitions -- and gaffes

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Newt Gingrich's political action committee American Solutions has been closed down after it was unable to raise enough cash with Gingrich out on the presidential campaign trail, the Center for Public Integrity's Peter H. Stone reports. The 527 group raised $2.4 million in the first half of the year, but spent $3 million. "There’s nothing to say," Gingrich adviser Joe Gaylord told The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty. "We had difficulty raising money after Newt left, with his degree of visibility and his leadership. We didn't want to run the organization into deep, deep, deep debt. So we closed it down."

American Solutions was once a major fundraiser, pulling in more than $52 million since it was founded in 2007 -- but it spent two-thirds of that money on raising more money, Tumulty writes, making it unusually expensive to run. The Daily Caller's C.J. Ciaramella says the group's "email list was among the best in Washington in 2008, and it was the single biggest spender among PACs carrying the 527 designation in 2010.  ... It's most successful push was its 2008 'drill here, drill now' campaign, which included a petition which solicited 1.5 million signatures in support of increasing domestic energy production."
So what happened? Gingrich 2012. Slate's Dave Weigel explains that not only was Gingrich there to bring in donors, but he irritated the remaining ones with his May appearance on Meet the Press in which he called Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare overhaul plan "rightwing social engineering." Weigel writes:
Thousands of e-mails rolled in from angry supporters who thought that Gingrich had undermined Paul Ryan in the interview. Their checkbooks snapped shut. Soon thereafter, so did the doors of American Solutions.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.