HOCKESSIN, Del. – In a sign that his campaign is in need of fresh funds, Newt Gingrich on Monday began charging $50 to have a photograph taken with him following a campaign speech to Republican groups here in the northernmost part of the state.
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"Some campaigns make you travel all the way to Wall Street to pay $2,500 for a photo with a candidate," a Gingrich spokesman said in an e-mail. "We are trying out a new tactic and asking our supporters at our rallies for a nominal donation. And guess what, it is working."
It was the first time that the former House speaker has charged those attending one of his public speaking events to pose for a photograph with him. Lately, a member of his campaign staff has been snapping photos of any interested attendee and later posting them online at the campaign’s website, Newt.org.
On Monday night, those paying for a photograph were also told they could find their photos on Gingrich’s website, after they had filled out a form providing their credit card information.
The campaign limped out of the month of February posting more debt than cash on hand. And poor showings in the recent primaries of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama -- all Southern states Gingrich had once expressed optimism he could win -- are likely not going to help any fundraising pushes.
Gingrich held only one public event on Monday, here in Delaware, which votes on April 24. He was scheduled to travel to North Carolina on Wednesday, but that trip was cancelled on Monday in favor of campaigning in the D.C. area. The former speaker will spend his next two days there and in Maryland before heading to Wisconsin at the end of the week.