Newt Gingrich must really have an affinity for Tiffany's.
Gingrich's campaign acknowledged Tuesday the former House speaker recently held a second line of credit at the tony jewelry store, valued for as much as $1 million.
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza, who broke the story, reports the account will show up on the 2012 hopeful's personal financial disclosure form. The paperwork had been due at the Federal Election Commission within 30 days of Gingrich's May 11 entry into the race, but hasn't yet been filed.
A Gingrich spokesman says the credit line is paid off but declined to offer any other details about the account, including when it was opened or closed. Yet it would appear the credit line had been active within the last year since the candidate's financial disclosure typically includes activity for just the previous 365 days.
The credit line is sure to be another embarrassing blow to Gingrich's struggling 2012 campaign.
Last month, it was disclosed the Gingrich owed between $250,000 and $500,000 to Tiffany's in 2005 and 2006, when his wife, Callista, was working for the House Agriculture Committee. Gingrich defended the account and said it was paid off, but in doing so, he admitted it was a "no interest" credit line, prompting many to question whether he had gotten preferential treatment because his wife was a House staffer.
But after days of controversy, a Tiffany's spokesman issued a statement insisting Gingrich wasn't treated any differently than other clients. "There is nothing unusual or extraordinary about the credit extended to Speaker Gingrich," Tiffany's spokesman Carson Glover said in statement obtained by The Ticket. "Last year, Tiffany & Co. extended credit to over 1,000 customers on identical terms."
Yet the Tiffany's account has been a detail that has haunted Gingrich for weeks—not unlike John Edwards' pricey haircuts in 2007 and John McCain's expansive real estate portfolio in 2008. The Tiffany's controversy, combined with Gingrich's criticism of Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare proposal, hobbled the former House speaker's first weeks as a 2012 candidate. He later dropped off the trail for a vacation in Greece with his wife—a move that, in part, prompted the mass resignation of his top campaign staffers.
Yesterday, Gingrich's campaign finance team resigned, amid rumors he's having serious trouble raising cash.
(Photo of Gingrich: David McNew/Getty Images)