***UPDATE: IOWA STAFF RESIGNS TOO***
Wow. This has been blowing up for the past half hour. Note the bolded text:
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager, senior strategists and key aides in early delegate-selection states all resigned on Thursday, a mass exodus that leaves his hopes of winning the Republican nomination in tatters.
Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, tells The Associated Press that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists have resigned, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
NBC News confirmed that several top aides have left the campaign.
Dave Carney, a key Gingrich strategist who resigned tells NBC: “The professional team came to the realization that the direction of the campaign they sought and Newt vision for campaign were incompatible.”
Carney is former aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who appears to be mulling his own White House run.
POLITICO is also reporting that consultant Katon Dawson resigned.
Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting earlier in the day. They cited differences over the direction of the campaign but were not more specific.
The officials declined to be identified by name, saying they were not authorized to discuss private conversations. Gingrich told the group he intends to stay in the race, they added.
Looks like 2012 is starting to get more interesting as there could be some new competition entering the race. Personally I would love it if Rick Perry jumped in, I just hope he doesn’t keep us teetering on this for too long.
UPDATE: Apparently his Iowa staff just resigned too:
Newt Gingrich’s entire team of paid Iowa campaign staff, as well as his national spokesman and senior aides in New Hampshire and South Carolina, have resigned en masse, a staffer told The Des Moines Register.
“You have to be able to raise money to run a campaign and you have to invest time in fundraising and to campaign here in the state and I did not have the confidence that was going to be happening,” said Craig Schoenfeld, the Iowa executive director of Newt 2012.
Schoenfeld said all six of Gingrich’s remaining paid staff here resigned today: Katie Koberg, deputy director; Page Thorson, coalitions director; Daniel Weiser, field staff; Ryan Keller, field staff; and Joe Heuertz, field staff.
Will Rogers, head of Gingrich’s Iowa grass-roots effort, resigned earlier this month.
Schoenfeld said several national aides resigned today, as well: Rick Tyler, spokesman; Rob Johnson, campaign manager; Sam Dawson, national consultant; and Schoenfeld’s counterparts in South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Over the last several days, the staffers had been speaking with Gingrich and senior aides in Washington, D.C. to explain their worries that the candidate wasn’t doing what was needed to win.
“I’ve seen the schedule for June and July going into the straw poll. It’s clear there wasn’t a path to success,” Schoenfeld said.