Desperate times in the Newt Gingrich camp have called for desperate measures.

Scrambling to dig himself out of a $4.5 million hole, the former House speaker has resorted to renting his presidential campaign’s most valuable asset – its donor list – for as much as $26,000-a-pop.

It’s a risky move for an active presidential campaign to give outsiders access to his best supporters and possibly donors who could be easily turned off — just as he says he’s trying to mount a comeback. Diminishing his best asset looks more like a sign of surrender, rather than a genuine effort to challenge Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.

Campaign insiders attribute the problems partly to Gingrich and his wife Callista’s, asserting that the couple was unwilling to downgrade from private jets and security details even as the campaign floundered. Insiders say Callista Gingrich required an entourage of at least two staffers – including one who dressed in an elephant costume to promote her children’s book – and a contracted security guard who followed her even on non-campaign trips.

 

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