Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker Newt Gingrich talks to voters from the Des Moines Register's Soapbox during the second day of the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12 in Des Moines. (Chip Somodevilla/GETTY IMAGES)

The vast advocacy and fundraising operation that former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) built after leaving Capitol Hill more than a decade ago has ceased to exist — a casualty of Gingrich’s decision to run for president in 2012.

According to an Aug. 1 filing with the Internal Revenue Service, American Solutions for Winning the Future raised more than $2.4 million during the first six months of the year, but it spent almost $3 million.

“It closed down” in July, said longtime Gingrich adviser Joe Gaylord, who had taken over the organization after Gingrich’s departure. “There’s nothing to say. We had difficulty raising money after Newt left. . . . We didn’t want to run the organization into deep, deep, deep debt. So we closed it down.”

The closure of the organization was first reported by the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News.

In a brief interview, Gingrich said he had no knowledge of the organization’s collapse.

“I haven’t had anything to do with them since I left to run for president,” Gingrich said. He added that there are “pretty strict rules that I stay away from 527s,” a reference to the section of the tax code under which American Solutions operated.

In its heyday, the group raised more money than any other such organization, collecting more than $52 million in its first four years. Nearly two-thirds of that, however, went toward fundraising, which made it an unusually expensive operation.

The group’s donor base included more than 300,000 contributors who gave $200 or less, although it also had a number of wealthy benefactors, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who provided $6 million.

At one point, political analysts thought that this extensive network would also benefit Gingrich’s presidential bid, but that operation quickly stumbled into financial difficulties.