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Newt's top campaign aides resign en masse

WASHINGTON -- The entire top echelon of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign resigned yesterday, a stunning mass exodus that left his bid for the Republican nomination in tatters. Gingrich publicly shrugged off the defections, vowing defiantly to remain a candidate.

"I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring," the former House speaker said in a posting to his Facebook page. "The campaign begins anew Sunday in Los Angeles."

Rick Tyler, Gingrich's spokesman, said that he, campaign manager Rob Johnson and senior strategists had all quit, along with aides in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Other officials said Gingrich was informed that his entire high command was quitting in a meeting at his headquarters in Washington.

"We had a different vision for victory," Tyler told The Associated Press. "And since we couldn't resolve that difference, I didn't feel I could be useful in serving him." He said Gingrich was not allowing enough time to campaign in key states.

Scott Rials, a longtime aide who joined the departure, said, "I think the world of him, but at the end of the day we just could not see a clear path to win, and there was a question of commitment."

Gingrich is scheduled to participate in a debate Monday in New Hampshire.

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