They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Newt Gingrich Wins Race For Biggest GOP Debt


"It is going to be a big problem for him," Craig Holman of Public Citizen told TPM. "Now that the election is essentially over with, Newt Gingrich is going to have a very hard time drawing in contributors."

Gingrich's opponents in the 2012 cycle finished out their campaigns with much less debt. Rick Santorum's latest report showed $1.9 million in outstanding bills, Michele Bachmann's campaign has $1 million left to pay off while Rick Perry owes a mere $14,463. Tim Pawlenty closed out with $435,542 in debts which was paid off by Mitt Romney affiliates.

"If you were in Congress... you could still do a lot of fundraising, but Newt Gingrich is not going to be in Congress and he's not going to be in the White House, and that's going to make it very difficult to attract donors to fill his coffers," Holman said. "He's got himself in a lot of trouble."

Gingrich's outstanding debts include a $24,788.30 unpaid FedEx bill, thousands in consulting costs and hundreds of thousands of dollars for travel reimbursements for staffers (including $271,775 owed to Gingrich himself). The campaign still owes the South Carolina Republican Party $4,400 for lodging. Former Gingrich campaign chief Michael Krull is owed $27,689.69.

The biggest outstanding debt: $1,058,103 to the private jet company Moby Dick Airways.

In Gingrich's case, Holman said the former Speaker of the House "continued to spend money recklessly" even though it was clear he couldn't beat Romney.

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond -- who himself is owed $3,743.16 in travel reimbursements by the Gingrich campaign -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment.