Not that he needed the reminder, but Newt Gingrich is getting one anyway: All press isn’t good press for presidential candidates.
Politico delivered the latest PR blow to Gingrich’s nascent campaign, reporting Tuesday that the former House speaker once owed – and may still owe – between $250,001 and $500,000 to the upscale jewelry store Tiffany and Co.
The news, which quickly made the rounds on the websites of a number of major media outlets, is the latest headache for Gingrich as he attempts to establish himself as a frontrunner for the GOP nomination. On Sunday, he drew the ire of many of his fellow Republicans after an appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, where he called the GOP plan to reform Medicare “right-wing social engineering.”
It remains unlikely that Tuesday’s disclosure will draw nearly as much blowback, but it is likely to make it difficult for Gingrich to portray himself as a man of the people as he continues his attempts to win over voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
(Politico‘s lede: “Newt Gingrich, a fiscal conservative? Not when it comes to Tiffany’s.”)
The figures reported by the political website come from financial disclosure forms Gingrich’s wife, Callista, filed in 2006 and 2007 with the House of Representatives while she was employed by the House Agriculture Committee. It is not clear whether her husband has since paid off the debt. (A Gingrich spokesman declined to comment to Politico.)
We don't have a sharp enough eye to ID fine jewelry from snap shots (or from pretty much anything else short of a labeled jewelry box) but for those wondering, here's a small sampling of what Callista Gingrich has been sporting in public: