Gingrich explains staff exodus: 'I am different from normal politicians'

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that a recent wave of departures from his campaign staff was due to his unorthodox style as a candidate.

"Philosophically, I am very different from normal politicians, and normal consultants found that very hard to deal with," Gingrich said in a speech at the Atlanta Press Club, according to Reuters. "We have big ideas. I just think that's part of how you campaign. You talk to the American people about big things."

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The former Speaker's comments came during the same week that two top members of his finance team resigned. Less than two weeks before that, his campaign manager, top spokesman and other key staff members left following a dispute over the campaign's direction.

The staff attrition has raised serious questions about the viability of Gingrich's campaign, even though he has chosen to continue his bid for president.

Reports have indicated that Gingrich has had trouble raising enough money to finance his campaign, and his criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan angered many Republicans in Washington, D.C.

But Gingrich shrugged aside the staff resignations, saying that Ronald Reagan lost 13 of his aides on the road to the presidency in 1980, when he defeated then-President Carter in a landslide.

"If I had to choose Reaganomics or 13 staffers quitting, I think for the average working American, Reaganomics was a much better deal," Gingrich said.

The ex-Speaker, however, was surprised by at least one departure -- he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he was "mystified" by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue's (R) decision to switch his endorsement to Gingrich's rival, Tim Pawlenty.