Newt Gingrich's Health Care Think Tank Goes Bankrupt

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 5 2012 11:05 AM

Newt Gingrich's Health Care Think Tank Goes Bankrupt

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FREDERICK, MD - APRIL 02: Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) waits back stage to be introduced during a campaign town hall-style meeting at the Hodson Auditorium on the campus of Hood College, April 2, 2012 in Frederick, Maryland. Maryland will hold one of three primaries in the nation Tuesday. After acknowledging it is impossible for him to win the GOP presidential nomination outright, Gingrich has vowed to stay in the presidential race even after firing a third of his campaign staff last week, taking the fight to the party convention. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dave Williams scoops that the Center for Health Transformation, the think that Newt Gingrich started in 2003, has filed for Chapter 7 and started liquidating assets. The documents put the CHT's assets at less than $100,000, its liabilities at more than $1 million.

Screen shot 2012-04-05 at 10.38.34 AM

Among the creditors: Gallup, several health care companies, and Newt and Callista Gingrich themselves. And it's really a stunning reversal of fortune. Back in November, when Gingrich enjoyed his brief renaissance as the Republican frontrunner, Dan Eggen reported that the think tank had earned $37 million over eight years. The catch: It used to be able to offer "direct Newt interaction" to health care companies. The former speaker had built himself back into a sought-after pundit. Without him, the CHT had no way to raise money.

"The Center for Health Transformation was an complex and ambitious project to promote free-market consumer-driven solutions for better care of the highest quality with the most choices at the lowest costs," says Rick Tyler, Gingrich's longtime spokesman who now leads the pro-Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future. "The exact opposite of ObamaCare. There are very few people capable of successfully leading such an organization. It's unfortunate, but not surprising, that without Newt Gingrich's leadership, the organization failed."

Thus is the fate of Newt, Inc. American Solutions for Winning the Future, his first think tank, shut down in July 2011 because it couldn't raise money anymore. Whenever Gingrich decides to leave the trail, he returns to a far-smaller empire of influence. The same thing happened to Rudy Giuliani -- who, to be fair, ran a pathetic waste of a campaign, winning nothing.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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