Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told a reporter to "go home" when asked about his fundraising numbers Thursday in Des Moines, as his debt-ridden campaign struggles to raise cash.
Los Angeles Times reporter Seema Mehta asked Gingrich how his fundraising numbers were shaping up as the quarter ends Sept. 30. "See, I knew you couldn't resist. I'm not going to answer you," he said after releasing his "21st Century Contract With America."
"You should really go home and think about why you would even ask that today," he said.
Gingrich has faced problems with fundraising, leading to questions about his viability as a candidate. In the quarter ending June 30, he reported $2.1 million in fundraising since entering the race. He also had over $1 million in debt, but aides say that he's retired over half that amount since then.
His 527 fundraising group formed in 2007, American Solutions, closed its K Street doors in August.
Embarrassing revelations about having a six-figure revolving account at Tiffany's and taking a cruise with his wife to the Greek islands in late May have contributed to the perception of Gingrich as unserious and a spendthrift. Since then, he has eschewed private planes for commercial flights.
A mid-September USA Today/Gallup poll showed him tied with Herman Cain and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), with five percent of the Republican primary vote nationally.