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Gingrich's 'problematic' wife accused of undermining presidential campaign

June 11, 2011 - Washington

The wife of potential Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been accused of undermining his campaign by persuading him to take a luxury cruise to the Mediterranean.

Despite the fact that at least 16 of the former lawmaker's advisers, including all of his senior campaign aides, had parted ways with him, Gingrich insisted on Friday that he was committed to run for the 2012 Republican nomination.

"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run. The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying in a statement.

Rich Galen, a consultant who worked for Gingrich in the 1990s, said that Gingrich's wife Callista Gingrich intervened in the campaign a lot.

"We have all had to deal with campaign spouses, whether male or female, but in his case it appears that Speaker Gingrich may have been a lot more solicitous to his wife's desires and her interventions in the campaign than most candidates are," Galen added.

Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard, an influential conservative magazine, wrote: "The problem was the wife. Callista Gingrich gradually emerged as Gingrich's most influential adviser this year."

He further claimed that Callista "won the argument" with campaign managers about whether or not the couple should take a two-week cruise to the Greek islands and Turkey.

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who was Gingrich's national campaign co-chairman, had earlier defected to join the presidential campaign of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, while longtime adviser Joe Gaylord also opted not to join the 2012 presidential effort to pursue Gingrich's candidature.


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