The mass exodus of staff from Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has fueled speculation that Texas Governor Rick Perry is preparing to get into the race.
A number of the sixteen departing Gingrich staffers — including Rob Johnson, Dave Carney and Rick Tyler — worked for Rick Perry in the past.
Despite the speculation, Carney told The Daily Caller Thursday afternoon that his exit did not mean Perry will get in.
“[A]bsolutely not,” Carney wrote in an email to TheDC.
A knowledgeable Republican, however, told TheDC that nobody envisioned Perry running without Carney and Johnson.
With them off Newt’s team, a Perry candidacy “is easier to envision today,” he said.
Bryan Preston, former communications director of the Republican Party of Texas and current at large editor for Pajamas Media and editor of The Tatler said the fact that so many Perry former staffers have abandoned Gingrich means it is more likely that he will run.
“I read it…that it indicates Gov. Perry is likely to run,” Preston told TheDC.
CBS’s Jan Crawford reported Thursday afternoon that those close to Perry say that the governor is getting more serious about a possible White House bid.
**Update: The number of staffers that have left Gingrich’s campaign has been updated.