Newt Gingrich's Campaign Kicks Press Off The Plane

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The wheels are really starting to come off at Newt 2012 Headquarters.

If you un-invite the press corps to travel with you on your campaign, what obligates them to cover you? As outlined in Yahoo News, Gingrich has been crisscrossing the State of Florida campaigning for Tuesday's primary. Ordinarily the reporters covering a candidate (or more likely their bosses) chip in for a chartered bus to follow the candidate's entourage, and when flights are used, the campaign arranges a charter flight and reporters buy a ticket on the arranged charter.

But Gingrich had an outlying dinner that required reporters to go from West Palm Beach to Orlando, but then back again to West Palm to cover one dinner and then immediately off to Tampa after the dinner. Reporters did the math and decided to skip the dinner to save charter flight costs -- but that meant the reporters who DID want to fly to the dinner split more of the cost per seat. They then tried to cancel, and the Gingrich Campaign said no.

Now some of the reporters on the plane cancelled their credit card charge for the flight and now the media has been uninvited from flying with the candidate.

Apart from all this press acrimony, the crazy travel arrangements show a lack of campaign professionalism from those amateur remainders who didn't leave the Gingrich campaign last April. Hopping from one city to do one dinner and then leaving immediately from a dinner, being back in City Number One by the next afternoon? Travel arrangements like that serve no purpose except to exhaust the candidate and irritate the press and the staff. You have to say "no" to some events if you are in charge of a campaign, or at least call the shots so that one dinner does not blow a hole in your travel timeline.

Then you fight with the media covering you, over costs they incur while covering you? This travel kerfuffle is a sign Gingrich is overextending himself in Florida, and no one is in charge of logistics at Newt HQ.

No one from Gingrich's campaign would say on the record why the reporters were no longer invited to travel with the candidate. "I don't have to give you a reason," R.C. Hammond, a Gingrich spokesman, said.

Okay, if I were Romney I would pay the press myself at this point to follow Gingrich: buy all the plane tickets it takes and hand out free sandwiches. Gingrich must be so tired, it is likely he'll blow up between here and Nevada, maybe right in front of his sugar daddy millionaire sponsor, Nevada resident Sheldon Adelstein.

But yeah Romney should just pay the press, call it a bailout and let the cameras roll.

Because this is not going to end well.


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