NEWARK, Del. -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blamed a bounced campaign check on confusion over campaign accounts, and not any lack of finances associated with his indebted campaign.
The former House speaker, who’s fighting to remain a viable challenger to Mitt Romney in the Republican primary, laughed off a $500 bounced check cut by his campaign that was intended to help him pay to qualify for the Utah primary.
“This is one of those goofy things,” Gingrich told reporters following a speech at a senior citizen center here. “That check was drawn in December. The account actually was closed by the time they processed it. It wasn’t a question of money. That particular bank account was closed.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune reported Tuesday the Utah Elections Director Mark Thomas said Gingrich’s check to get on the ballot bounced and if it was not paid by April 20, the former speaker would be disqualified and not be on the ballot.
Asked if his campaign will fix the issue, Gingrich simply said, "they apparently have it all worked out.” Gingrich campaign spokesman, R.C. Hammond, told NBC News via email: "A new check has been sent. We are confident the state of Utah will list Newt on the ballot for their upcoming GOP primary."
Gingrich is struggling to stay afloat financially. He noted Tuesday afternoon in North Carolina that his campaign will post just under $4.5 million in debt this month, citing excessive spending as his “management team got very excited in Florida.”
But, despite financial problems, Gingrich says he will still take his campaign forward. He believes the race is “not over 'til it’s over" because no one has the required 1,144 delegates to capture the nomination.
“We had 3,500 people send money to Newt.org online after 2 o’clock yesterday saying please stay in,” he said, detailing a spike in donations after Rick Santorum withdrew from the GOP race.
Santorum and Gingrich -- who have publicly acknowledged being friends and talking regularly -- still have not spoken since the former Pennsylvania senator’s departure from the race.
“We’ve been swapping voicemails," Gingrich said. "I hope to get to him after I’m done with you."
Gingrich will hold two more public events in Delaware Wednesday.