The Woes of Newt Gingrich
by Charles Lemos, Wed Apr 20, 2011 at 05:15:59 AM EDT
Newt Gingrich raised a meager $53,000 into his political action committee in the first three months of the year, highlighting potential fundraising difficulties as the former House Speaker girds for a campaign for the GOP presidential nomination.
Gingrich has raised tens of millions in huge donations into American Solutions for Winning the Future, a so-called 527 committee outside the purview of the Federal Election Commission, allowing him to build a robust political operation that has kept him in the spotlight as he flirted with a White House bid.
But his presidential campaign would not be able to accept such large contributions and would instead be restricted to limited hard money donations of $2,500 per individual — half as much as the $5,000-per-individual maximum contributions that can be accepted each year by his leadership political action committee, American Solutions PAC.
Not surprising. He doesn't poll well among non-conservatives and while he is spending considerable time and energy reaching out to social conservatives - his core campaign theme is that "America is in danger of becoming a secular atheist nation" - he's not getting through. It's not that social conservatives disagree with the twice divorced, thrice married former Speaker of the House, Newt's flaws are fairly self-evident. When it comes to Newt's presidential aspirations, social conservatives don't find fault with the message but with the messenger.
His other problem is that others say, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former Senator Rick Santorum and pizza millionaire Herman Cain, say pretty much the same thing and they don't have the hypocrisy baggage.
I don't see Newt getting past South Carolina after faring poorly in both Iowa and New Hampshire.