Did Newt Gingrich's Top Aides Resign Because of His Wife?
Newt Gingrich is defending his embattled wife, Callista, after reports that she is the reason for the resignation of her husband's entire senior staff.
"A few months ago, you would not have thought Callista Gingrich was a political liability. But now with the Tiffany's scandal, now we have this Cruisegate, it's looking like she might be," Politico.com correspondent Karin Tanabe said.
Callista is Gingrich's third wife, and the two are rarely seen apart. She's constantly at his side during television appearances, and is frequently featured in his campaign ads.
Just two weeks ago, Callista was sitting right next to her husband when a protestor threw glitter on him.
Gingrich went so far as to convert to Catholicism for Callista. His devout wife regularly sings in their church choir, and even performed at the Vatican.
But the elegant, platinum blonde beauty has a love for luxury, and Gingrich has come under fire for indulging her expensive tastes.
Gingrich famously racked up a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany's for buying his wife pricey diamond necklaces. She donned the jewels at black tie events around Washington, D.C.
One Gingrich staffer reportedly complained that Callista had too much say in her husband's schedule. The last straw came when Gingrich left the campaign trail to take his wife on an opulent cruise through the Greek Islands.
Gingrich and his wife boarded The Odyssey, which has an array of exclusive amenities. The ship boasts decadent staterooms, white glove services, and a spa with hot tubs that overlook the Mediterranean.
But the spectacular voyage quickly turned into a Greek tragedy for Gingrich. With his top aides resigning upon their return, Gingrich urged the press outside his Virginia home not to hold Callista responsible.
"We make most decisions as a couple," he said. "I think most people would find that refreshing, not a problem."
Do these staggering internal losses mean that Gingrich's presidential run is over?
"I think if he makes some quick fixes he might be able to recover, he's lost most of his senior staff so he's in a place where he can make changes," Tanabe said.
Despite the defections, Gingrich says he plans to campaign "very intensely." He will be one of the Republican presidential candidates at Monday's debate in New Hampshire.