Newt Gingrich has a website problem.
Web surfers who visit the domain name Newtgingrich.com are redirected to any one of several unflattering reminders of the GOP candidate’s controversies. It's not quite as bad as Rick Santorum's Google problem, but it raises the question of why Gingrich's campaign didn't think ahead on this matter.
The liberal PAC American Bridge 21st Century says it owns the domain name, and is offering it for sale in a Craigslist ad.
“We're asking for $1 million, but we'd be happy to accept $500,000 in bling. Heck in the spirit of Christmas we might even let it go for $10,000,” the ad says.
A spokesman for the group told National Journal that it had only recently aquired the domain name.
Among the websites included in the shuffle are those of Tiffany, where Gingrich had a line of credit of between $500,000 and $1 million, and FreddieMac, where the former speaker of the House did consulting work after leaving Congress.
Also in the lineup of websites are news reports of the Gingrich campaign’s woes; a Greek travel site (as a reminder of a much-criticized vaction); and a Youtube.com video of Gingrich calling for action on climate change while smiling and sitting on a couch with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
According to domain-name registration records, the owners used Domains by Proxy, a company that bills itself as the “Internet's very first Whois privacy service,” which hides the identity of domain-name owners.
While Barackobama.com, Mittromney.com, and most other such domain names lead to the websites of the leading candidates, Gingrich is not the only presidential hopeful with domain-name headaches.
Rickperry.com is a page of advertising, although until early December the site sent users to rival GOP candidate Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign site.
Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, may have the most unappealing problem online. Thanks to some work by critics, a Google search of Santorum’s last name is topped by a string of vulgar definitions.
While Santorum has had little luck convincing Google to help him out, Gingrich may have an easier time gaining control over Newtgingrich.com. There is a complicated process for resolving disputes if the Gingrich campaign decides it wants control.