Gingrich charging $50 for campaign-stop photos?

posted at 9:15 am on March 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

What can a candidate do to raise cash when donations begin to dry up?  Seize every opportunity to merchandise the campaign, it seems.  National Journal reports that Newt Gingrich has taken the standard grip-and-grin ritual after stump speeches and turned it into a revenue source, a report I’ve confirmed with the campaign:

 In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state.

It was the first time that the former House speaker has charged those attending one of his public speaking events to pose for a photograph with him. Lately, a member of his campaign staff has been snapping photos of any interested attendee and later posting them online at the campaign’s website, newt.org.

On Monday night, those paying for a photograph were also told they could find their photos on Gingrich’s website, after they had filled out a form providing their credit card information.

I assume these sales still count as tax-deductible contributions in the same way that t-shirt sales do, unless someone tells me differently, so point-of-sale and other tax issues probably don’t apply.  What does apply is a sense of desperation.  Gingrich keeps insisting that he will go all the way to the convention, or at least not until Romney gets 1144 delegates, whichever comes first.  However, Gingrich looks increasingly irrelevant to that question.  Not only did he finish in third place in Louisiana, in the South where his strategy rests, he came away without a single delegate.

Let’s look forward at the schedule in April.  We have three winner-take-all primaries on the 3rd coming up next, in Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington DC.  Gingrich isn’t expected to be competitive in any of these.  Missouri has another non-binding caucus on the 21st, where Rick Santorum has been strong, and then we have New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware on the 24th.  In which of these states will Gingrich even manage to win a delegate, let alone compete for the lead?

Newt Gingrich has been a valuable member of the Republican Party for many years.  He gave this campaign his best effort, and helped focus other candidates on the message.  It’s time for Gingrich to get off the campaign trail and look for other ways to contribute.  This interregnum between Louisiana and the April 3rd primaries is a good time for Gingrich to make the transition.


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S L U T

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Hey, this is America and that’s free enterprise. If you don’t like it, don’t ask for a photo. Seems desperate though.

Bishop on March 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Maybe Santy could share his pickup truck with Newt..

rich801 on March 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Newt Gingrich has been a valuable member of the Republican Party for many years. He gave this campaign his best effort, and helped focus other candidates on the message. It’s time for Gingrich to get off the campaign trail and look for other ways to contribute.

That should be the message when the GOP leadership has “the talk” with both Gingrich and Santorum.

Happy Nomad on March 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Shame he couldn’t get more traction, but…that’s Bad Newt’s fault.

I suppose the only remaining question for me is how to break it to my 7-year-old son that Mr. Newt won’t be building a moon base. He’ll be disappointed.

Spannerhead on March 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

You do what you have to do

gerrym51 on March 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Agree…time to cut bait

cmsinaz on March 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Put me down for none.

sdd on March 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

HIs ego knows no bounds, does it?

blatantblue on March 27, 2012 at 9:22 AM

He was very eloquent and I was high-fiving his takedown of Obama’s “Trayvon could be my son” thing. Newt needs to work for someone. When we read of the candidate rehearsing for the debates, the guy behind the scenes playing Obama should be Newt.

Marcus on March 27, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Please go out with some dignity Newt now youre looking desparate and a little pathetic. Cut a deal for a convention speech and move on.

ldbgcoleman on March 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Newt’s a good guy, and I’d be happy to vote for him if he were up against Obama in the fall. But at this point, he and the Republican party would both be better off if he withdrew from the race.

Perhaps he can focus on some of his “big ideas” that he became so famous for during the campaign, e.g. advocating for continuing/expanding the space program.

Mr. Prodigy on March 27, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Newt should have his own talk show on television or radio. He has the depth of knowledge of a broad array of topics needed to keep a show lively and interesting. He has a good speaking voice. He has an engaging personality. He can think on his feet.

Yes, someone should get on this right away.

Dextrous on March 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Remember a while back, someone did the math. Gallup, I believe—if Newt drops, Romney cleans up. I know my own ABR-ness does not extend to Santorum.

Sekhmet on March 27, 2012 at 9:32 AM

I sent Newt some money a few months ago. Of course, I have received scores of requests from his campaign for additional money since then, but I have not responded.
I am not offended by him staying in the race if he can, perhaps because I cannot get enthused, yet, about any of the alternatives.
If Romney is the eventual winner I think that he will be stronger for having been through a tough primary campaign. It was nice to see him lay into Obama yesterday.

GaltBlvnAtty on March 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Newt has dined out on the old wisdom: there’s a sucker born every minute.

Will people learn their lesson now that they’ve been conned by this guy? Nope!

NickDeringer on March 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Newt….you can get even with Mitt some other way. Losing is hard to take but it’s time to head to the locker room.

Big Orange on March 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

What can a candidate do to raise cash when donations begin to dry up?

He and Santorum need to team up on this. Get yer pic taken with Newt and Rick – two flops for the price of one!

whatcat on March 27, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Do all proceeds go to the construction of a moon base? Do those who pay for these photos also get a brick engraved with their names used to construct the moon base?

NotCoach on March 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM

This actually makes me sad. I’m not a Newt fan, but has it really come to this? He should have gotten out when he had a little dignity left.

Dark Star on March 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

how much for a pic with Callista?

GhoulAid on March 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Will we get a major post like this when Santorum is reduced to selling his sweater vests on Ebay?

Newt is a non-story at this point, except when he slaps Obama around with his trademark panache.

Let’s not kick a man when he’s down.

Mr. Arkadin on March 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I’d rather pay $50 for a photo with Newt than $5 for a dinner with Jabba the Mooch.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Newt….you can get even with Mitt some other way. Losing is hard to take but it’s time to head to the locker room.

Big Orange on March 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Indeed, and should a President Romney come to pass, Newt’s best angle would be to act as our watchdog anytime Pres. Romney appears to be adopting a Democrat proposal in toto and work to make that very difficult.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

how much for a pic with Callista?

GhoulAid on March 27, 2012 at 9:37 AM

…they let you barter for that…usually a can of aresol hair spray approved by the EPA.
.
.
.
.
.(subbing)
…Hang in there Newt…!!!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Fifty bucks! Hah! What a streetwalker.

M240H on March 27, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Newt should have his own talk show on television or radio. He has the depth of knowledge of a broad array of topics needed to keep a show lively and interesting. He has a good speaking voice. He has an engaging personality. He can think on his feet.

Yes, someone should get on this right away.

Dextrous on March 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Actually, that’s a pretty good idea. I think he’d be a success at it.

Like I wrote above, this story just makes me sad.

Dark Star on March 27, 2012 at 9:46 AM

I’d rather pay $50 for a photo with Newt than $5 for a dinner with Jabba the Mooch.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Ditto! (I liked the appliance post on the other thread (:>)lol!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Guess his sugar daddy has cut up the credit cards.

changer1701 on March 27, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I’d pay $50 not to have to see his picture anymore. All I can think of when I see his face is Susan Boyle. Plus, when they show him waddling into a room, his gigantic gut arriving ten minutes before he does, I can’t believe people think this is presidential material.

Carolina21 on March 27, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I’d pay him $10 to wash my truck.

Mark1971 on March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

If this is what you have to do to stay in….then it’s just not happening, especially since it’s so obvious he has no chance.

Dongemaharu on March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

A dime a dozen seems like a more appropriate price point.

rogaineguy on March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The big question is, how many books and videos remain in the Gingrich warehouse? If they’re still stocked, then they’ll continue to haw…er, stump.

Meanwhile, via Politico, the last of the print journalist embeds have left the Newt 2012 book to…er, campaign. There are some TV guys left, unlike Paul’s campaign.

Steve Eggleston on March 27, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Sounds like a campaign running out of gas. Was that Obama or the EPA’s doing? Couldn’t be self inflicted from sitting on the couch!

TfromV on March 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Release the kraken sham-wow guy!

cicerone on March 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Newt has dined out on the old wisdom: there’s a sucker born every minute.

Will people learn their lesson now that they’ve been conned by this guy? Nope!

NickDeringer on March 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM

How big of a fool do you have to be to pay $50 for a photo with a guy who is done for?

Bitter Clinger on March 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Who’s more pathetic – Egonewt ? or the people that see some reason to meaninglessly still vote for him ?

FlaMurph on March 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Unlike the current WhiteHouse occupier, all of the Repub candidates have backgrounds, old mistakes, a change of mind on this or that, all of which can be used to weaken their message.
Ol’Newt has a lot of history and just couldn’t overcome some of it.

He would have made a terrific President. But, now it’s time to go home, play with the grandkids, go fishing. Salute!

srdem65 on March 27, 2012 at 10:06 AM

it is slightly more dignified than ranting about how if ” you don’t nominate me me me you deserve hitler/stalin/obama”.

slightly.

of course no one is ever going to be the perfect candidate with whom one agrees completely but why are these freaks all so so fatally flawed? obama can get away with it. we can’t.

mittens on March 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Newt should have his own talk show on television or radio. He has the depth of knowledge of a broad array of topics needed to keep a show lively and interesting. He has a good speaking voice. He has an engaging personality. He can think on his feet.

Yes, someone should get on this right away.

Dextrous on March 27, 2012 at 9:31 AM
Actually, that’s a pretty good idea. I think he’d be a success at it.

He’d be outstanding! He makes dry topics interesting.
I’m still hoping for a Republican victory with Newt taking a significant role Secretary of Energy, but if not, how about a weekly TV gig, perhaps Sunday prime time on Fox?

talkingpoints on March 27, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Maybe he could go to Cooperstown and hook up with Pete Rose?

EconomicNeocon on March 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Oh please. Why? Because he can.

slickwillie2001 on March 27, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Strange that he doesn’t do more to exploit free media.

He could go to CA, back the anti-gay marriage agenda and stick up for gun rights and get tons of local and national coverage there. If he did that in a couple of other big media markets, he would have to worry less about funding his own media and concentrate on his image-making.

He has to go where the media is at this point, not necessarily to primary States, just places that ensure he will get his mug and message across into primary States. One can lack a ground game that is solid and get lots of attention via an air game. It won’t get the nomination but would start to refocus his message and get free air time.

ajacksonian on March 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM

he would have to pay me $50 to take a picture with him

fwm299 on March 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Ed, there’s an “interregnum” between the Louisiana primary and the April 3rd primaries? An interregnum is derived from Latin and is the period between the death of one king and the accession of the next and is also used to describe a period of discontinuity in a government.

And before anyone asks, yes, someone died and appointed me to the lexicon police :)

Trafalgar on March 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

It is time for the commentators to quit telling candidates to quit and let the public decide…

ChuckTX on March 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Newt is back on his book tour.

rubberneck on March 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Time for Santorum to move on as well.

rubberneck on March 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

And before anyone asks, yes, someone died and appointed me to the lexicon police :)

Trafalgar on March 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

In a world of thankless jobs, that may be the thanklessest. (Thanklessimus?)

TexasDan on March 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Dude’s almost as pitiful as Santorum.

captn2fat on March 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

pathetic

rndmusrnm on March 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Newt Gingrich has been a valuable member of the Republican Party for many years. He gave this campaign his best effort, and helped focus other candidates on the message. It’s time for Gingrich to get off the campaign trail and look for other ways to contribute. This interregnum between Louisiana and the April 3rd primaries is a good time for Gingrich to make the transition.

Hello? The candidates themselves are perfectly capable of deciding when to quit.

Why is there no outcry for Ron Paul to pack it in?

IndeCon on March 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

How big of a fool do you have to be to pay $50 for a photo with a guy who is done for?

Bitter Clinger on March 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Not fools. Fans. Everybody’s got ‘em.

alwaysfiredup on March 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Why is there no outcry for Ron Paul to pack it in?

Because with a total of only 50 delegates so far and practically 0 chance to win any more, he isn’t seen as anyone Romney or any of the other candidates are going to waste any resources campaigning against. Paul’s own campaigning does it for them.

Newt will soon be reaching the same point. Santorum will be getting there after next Tuesday. After next Tuesday the logical Santorum supporters will be gone leaving only the emotional supporters. It will be a situation, to paraphrase Batfink, of “Your logic can not harm me, my skull is like a shield of steel”.

Which is basically where Newt is today. They are hoping against hope of a brokered convention.

Now generally, I LIKE the idea of proportional allocation primaries and feel they all should be and that the convention really should “mean” something. And that it probably improves the party platform to have to take the best positions of some of the lesser candidates in exchange for their delegates. But in this case the alternative candidates; Paul, Gingrich, and Santorum, are just so bad that now I can see a situation where proportional allocation can do more harm than good.

Santorum just doesn’t have a viable position on anything that Romney doesn’t share. Same with Newt. They both have some pretty whacked positions on some things that are best left alone, but there aren’t any really good ideas out there. Paul DOES have some good DOMESTIC ideas and if I were Romney I would put Ron Paul in charge of the EPA after purging the department of ALL Clinton and Obama appointees and cutting its budget by 75 to 80 percent.

Then I would have him move to the Education department.

crosspatch on March 27, 2012 at 1:46 PM

The talking heads, screed writers, and beltway politicians of the GOP establishment took it upon themselves to wage a negative campaign of monumental and unprecedented proportions against Newt, and now they want him to play nice and get out of the way.

Unfrigginbelievable.

Reggie1971 on March 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Better than the $500 politicians want when they come to MI for an event. Go Newt

Bullhead on March 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I assume these sales still count as tax-deductible contributions in the same way that t-shirt sales do, unless someone tells me differently, so point-of-sale and other tax issues probably don’t apply.

Hmm, wouldn’t the amount over and above the cost of the photo be considered a campaign contribution? Not tax deductible, IIRC, losing even that incentive. If you can call it an incentive to pay that much for an 8 x 10 glossy of Newt.

hawkeye54 on March 27, 2012 at 2:31 PM

I assume these sales still count as tax-deductible contributions in the same way that t-shirt sales do, unless someone tells me differently, so point-of-sale and other tax issues probably don’t apply.

I thought donations to campaigns in any form were not tax deductible. But as for the measly $50.00 a picture, he must be wistful for the good old days at Healthcare Transformations when he charging $5000 for the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award and dinner with Newt and other lucky “entrepreneurs”.

Buy Danish on March 27, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Shame he couldn’t get more traction, but…that’s Bad Newt’s fault.

Spannerhead on March 27, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Hey, give Romney some credit for his scummy and lying below the belt and totally unpresidential negative ads to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

NOMOBO on March 27, 2012 at 2:56 PM

It’s a damn sight cheaper than my my $500 poster from Fred! Me PO’ed? Nah.

marinetbryant on March 27, 2012 at 3:11 PM

I will forever blame the LIAR-of-Liars, RINO Romney for LYING, LYING, LYING ALL Over Florida and Iowa before that, about Gingrich (see “What Really Happened to the Gingrich Ethics Case?” by Byron York, Townhall.com 2/6/2012). And BTW, the RepublicRAT establishment was and is COMPLICIT in those LIES!?! Now just how is an Independent like myself supposed to get behind a horrible candidate (AND COMPLICIT party) that I know is an out-and-out LIAR??? Nice goin’, STUPID Party!?! IF you succeed (and that’s a real big “if” considering the above), you will simply have replaced the Jackass Party LIAR-IN-Chief with the (R) version!?!

Colatteral Damage on March 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

In which of these states will Gingrich even manage to win a delegate, let alone compete for the lead?

In ANY of the remaining states he has hardly any chance of winning a single delegate. I said this weeks back after the AL and MS primaries. He’s spent. His only reason for hanging the race, supposedly, is to try to steal some delegates from Mitt to try to keep him below 1144. Epic FAIL!

MJBrutus on March 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Colatteral Damage on March 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Cry me a freaking river.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Cry me a freaking river.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

I’m thinking CD is off his (her) meds.

The overuse of uppercase letters is a classic symptom.

pain train on March 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Maybe Santy could share his pickup truck with Newt..

rich801 on March 27, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Yeah Slick couldn’t go tho ! No room for his hair spray !! Nyuk nyuk….

cableguy615 on March 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Hey, this is America and that’s free enterprise. If you don’t like it, don’t ask for a photo. Seems desperate though.

Bishop on March 27, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Like a ballplayer autographing baseballs.

However, unlike being Presidential.

unclesmrgol on March 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Better than the $500 politicians want when they come to MI for an event. Go Newt

Bullhead on March 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Only $500? Mr. Obama gets $25,000 from each person whenever he comes here to Californica…

unclesmrgol on March 27, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Obama charged $1000 for a picture with him at one of his his 2008 fundraisers Hawaii…the only one he showed up for.

Maile on March 28, 2012 at 2:25 AM