Newt Gingrich has admitted that he probably won't become president, and Roger Ailes says there's no future for him at Fox News, but the candidate still insists on being treated like a king. His campaign is at least $4.5 million in debt, Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel and Ginger Gibson report, but he insists on flying private jets, visiting zoos, and having a paid staffer follow around his wife in an elephant costume to promote her book. His Newt.org empire is falling apart, and he has no chance of reclaiming his reported $600,000 a year contract with Fox. In March, Gingrich's staffers had a two-hour meeting focused on "keeping him from looking like a fool," Politico reports. It appears they have failed at this mission.
Gingrich's taste for luxury has been a running theme since he started running for president -- there's a little bit of snobbery in portraying him as a rich redneck, but whatever -- and the candidate hasn't let those indulgences go despite his dwindling moneymaking options. His for-profit think tank, the Center for Health Transformation, went bankrupt last week. His non-profit American Solutions for Winning the Future went under last summer. Two other non-profits have seen donations drop by half. His campaign has resorted to renting out its donor list, potentially burning his supporters with a bunch of spam, Politico says. Perhaps worst of all for Gingrich, who loves talking TV so much his campaign strategy was based on cable news interviews and debate performances instead of meeting voters, he's finished at Fox. Gingrich's ranted against the network's bias against him Wednesday, telling a Delaware Tea Party crowd, "There’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign... I think Fox has been for Romney all the way through." In response, Fox News chief Roger Ailes told journalism students at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Thursday that Gingrich "trying to get a job at CNN because he knows he isn’t going to get to come back to Fox News," The Herald-Sun's Melody Guyton Butts reports.