The Washington Post

Gingrich racks up more debt as his campaign disintegrates

Newt Gingrich, whose quixotic presidential bid has been dogged by financial problems, racked up nearly $3 million in new debt for private jet flights, security consultants and travel costs in March even as his campaign teetered on the edge of collapse, according to new disclosures.

The former House speaker entered April with $4.3 million in total debt, up from $1.5 million the month before, according to reports filed late Friday with the Federal Election Commission. He raised $1.6 million, spent $2 million and reported having $1.2 million cash on hand.

The Gingrich campaign’s top debts for March include $1.1 million to Moby Dick Airways, a private air charter broker; $450,000 to Patriot Group, a Warrenton, Va.-based security firm; and $178,000 to Event Strategies of Alexandria for “event production.” Gingrich is listed as being owed $271,775.58 for travel costs, and numerous other employees and consultants claim similar travel debts, the records show.

The disclosures outline what has become a typical scenario for Gingrich in his topsy-turvy, year-long campaign for the White House, which nearly imploded last summer amid runaway spending and staff defections. Financial problems also have swallowed the private consulting empire he built after leaving the House in the late 1990s, including a private health-care think tank that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.

Gingrich rose in the polls and began to claw his way out of debt during a series of strong debate performances last fall, but his prospects have plummeted since his surprise win in the South Carolina primary in January. The main thing keeping Gingrich alive for much of the primary season was Winning Our Future, a super PAC that was funded almost exclusively by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his relatives. Adelson’s wife, Miriam, gave the group an additional $5 million in March, bringing the Adelson family total to $21 million, according to new disclosures.

Gingrich has steadfastly refused to leave the race despite having no reasonable prospect of defeating Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, while continuing to solicit money and support as he campaigns across the country.

“Please take a moment to get involved with my campaign and make calls to voters,” Gingrich wrote in a Twitter message Thursday.

Gingrich has had a particular penchant for racking up travel-related expenses with vendors such as Moby Dick, which arranges charter jet travel for Republicans and has done millions of dollars in business with Gingrich over the years. One now-defunct Gingrich group called American Solutions for Winning the Future paid Moby Dick $6.6 million over a period of four years, records show.

Deputy Editor, National Politics

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Republicans debated Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Highlights from Saturday's GOP debate
Except for an eminent domain attack from Bush, Trump largely avoided strikes from other candidates.

Christie went after Rubio for never having been a chief executive and for relying on talking points.

Carson tried to answer a question on Obamacare by lamenting that he hadn't been asked an earlier question about North Korea.
The GOP debate in 3 minutes
Listen
Play Video
Quoted
We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're booing me? I don't want their money!
Donald Trump, after the debate crowd at St. Anselm's College booed him for telling Jeb Bush to be "quiet."
Listen
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 38%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.