In a bizarre political development, presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has been abandoned by his entire executive staff, including his campaign manager, chief strategist, spokesman and the directors of his Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina campaigns.

Gingrich got the news after returning from a cruise around Greece. He said he would relaunch his campaign and press on.

Campaign spokesman — former campaign spokesman, that is — Rick Tyler told The Associated Press, “We had a different vision for victory.”

At least some of his staff might have also had a different candidate in mind. Both the campaign manager and chief strategist were formerly employed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is playing coy about running.

But it wasn’t just Perry loyalists who left Newt in the lurch. Scott Rials, whom the AP describes as a longtime aide, had this to say about his departure: “I think the world of him, but at the end of the day we just could not see a clear path to win, and there was a question of commitment.”

For all his faults, Gingrich, former speaker of the House, is a veteran political operative. It’s hard to imagine how he got himself into these dire straits. — PZS

AP via U.S. News and World Report:

The entire top echelon of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign resigned on Thursday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. Gingrich publicly shrugged off the defections, vowing defiantly to remain a candidate.

“I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring,” the former House speaker said in a posting to his Facebook page. “The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles.”

Rick Tyler, Gingrich’s spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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