By David Chalian
Newt Gingrich’s rocky start to his presidential campaign became even rockier Thursday when his campaign manager, top spokesman, and lead consultants in the key early states resigned en masse from the campaign.
The aides cited differences with the candidate in the strategic approach to his quest for the Republican presidential nomination as the reason for their departure.
“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 wrote on his Facebook wall about an hour after the Associated Press initially reported the staff shakeup.
The dramatic departure of his campaign team comes on the heels of Gingrich’s stumble out of the gate on a “Meet the Press” interview where he suggested the House Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., was akin to “right wing social engineering.” Those comments inflamed many in the Republican Party and Gingrich eventually walked the comments back and apologized to Ryan.
Immediately following his attempts to rectify the terribly difficult first official week of his presidential campaign, Gingrich and his wife Callista set off on what several Republican operatives observed to be a politically tone deaf pre-planned two week luxurious cruise to Greece.
Gingrich plans to participate in the Republican presidential debate scheduled for Monday evening in Manchester, N.H.