Photo With Gingrich: $50
March 28, 2012 by Sam Rolley
A few times since the Republican Presidential primary began, people have speculated that former House Speaker Newt Gingrichâ€™s goal in running was not ever to win the office, but rather to bolster his public presence. A new report may lend credence to the speculation.
According to Daily Mail, at speaking engagements throughout the country, the enterprising Gingrich has taken to charging supporters $50 to snap photos with him as he campaigns. The candidate began asking for a fee for photos of him with supporters during after a speech to Republican County groups in Hockessin, Del.
In defense of the policy, the Gingrich campaign said in a statement:
Did you see reports today we are charging for photos?
Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate.
We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation.
And guess what, it is working.
We have over 175,000 donors who contribute on average $50 to $100 at a time.
We also have an online store where supporters can make a donation to receive a hat, a shirt or even a bandana for your dog.
Every dollar and every supporter count and our campaign is propelled forward one small donor at a time.
The most recent financial filings show the Gingrich campaign taking on more debt that it can cover with campaign funds raised. Gingrich told a reporter for The Atlantic that if Mitt Romney has a majority after Utah votes on June 26, he will support the former Massachusetts Governor.
Before the campaign, Gingrich made lucrative career for himself as a professional speaker.
â€śI did no lobbying of any kind, period,â€ť Gingrich said at a campaign stop in South Carolina last year. â€śFor a practical reasonâ€”and Iâ€™m going to be really direct, OK? I was charging $60,000 a speech and the number of speeches was going up, not down.â€ť