Tales from the Trail

Gingrich fascinated by Romney computer wipe

Republican Newt Gingrich had not heard of a controversy surrounding some of the final actions of rival Mitt Romney’s staff when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, but suggested the ploy might even turn up in one of his books in the future.

The Boston Globe reported this week that when Romney was leaving the statehouse in 2006 after one term as governor, eleven of his staff were allowed to use their own money to purchase their work computers’ hard drives, and the Romney administration’s emails were all wiped from a server.

“They did what?” Gingrich said when asked about it at a press conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after a film screening. “I’m now in non-candidate mode, of simply being curious as a citizen.”

Gingrich said he had “no idea” what Romney or his staff might have hoped to achieve, adding, “you should ask him that.”

“As a novelist, by the way, it’s a lot of fun,” he added.

Romney, campaigning in New Hampshire on Friday, said he and his staff “followed the law as intended and as written.”

Newt’s campaign contributions surge alongside his rising favorability

Newly anointed Republican front-runner Newt Gingrich has raised more money since October 1 than during the rest of his presidential campaign, as rising poll numbers have prompted his fans to open their wallets.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives has raised at least $3 million since October 1, said campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond. The donations have averaged $100 each and he is attracting 1,000 new donors each day.

In contrast, Gingrich took in less than $800,000 in the third quarter ending September 30, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. At that point, he was trailing far behind most of his rivals for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman.

Fiscal conservative Gingrich had at least $250,000 debt with Tiffany’s

Politicians are in heated debate about the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling. But their personal debt can also be eye-popping.

Politico reports that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich owed at least $250,000 and as much as $500,000 to luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co.

We checked the store website but couldn’t find any one item for that amount, although a few baubles here, a few watches there, and it all adds up.