Gingrich campaign struggles to rebound

By Shannon Mccaffrey

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, July 16 2011 1:35 a.m. MDT

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to a meeting of electric cooperative executives in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Gingrich, seeking the GOP presidential nomination, was on a two-day campaign swing through South Carolina.

Bruce Smith, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

ATLANTA — Since aides and advisers resigned in early June, Newt Gingrich's presidential bid has been on life support.

And his first campaign finance disclosure filed on Friday provided little reason to be optimistic. Gingrich has raised $2.1 million since getting into the race earlier this year, badly trailing front-runner Mitt Romney.

But perhaps more problematic is that he has a little more than $1 million in debt, almost half of that for private air travel.

Gingrich's campaign remains a skeleton operation. He has not moved to replace most of the consultants and staff members who left. Gingrich argues the kind of grass-roots, Internet-driven campaign he wants to run can function with a lean staff and he doesn't need a stable of well-paid consultants.

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