ABC News' Jake Tapper ( @jaketapper ) reports:
ABC News has learned that one of the major issues between former Speaker Newt Gingrich and his (now former) senior campaign staff revolves around the myriad projects he and his wife Callista work on, which staffers describe as a constant distraction from the campaign.
Senior staffers demanded that Gingrich focus on pressing the flesh and fundraising and stop touring the country promoting film projects with his wife. At one point Gingrich was so focused on film premiers and book signings, one senior staffer emailed the team: "We didn’t sign up to be hucksters for products for sale"
But sources say Callista controls the schedule. They say she refused to allow the candidate to attend a Memorial Day Weekend parade in key early primary state South Carolina unless a film screening was set up in the state.
South Carolina consultant Katon Dawson was pushing hard for the candidate to attend the parade, but the film screening couldn’t be set up.
So the couple stayed in Washington DC and attended the opera at the Kennedy Center on May 27. Some senior staffers laughed: the opera was Don Pasquale -- a comedy about an old wealthy man’s romantic life.
The senior staffers didn’t understand the need for the two to spend the time together that night, instead of having him campaign, given that the couple was about to go on an extended luxury cruise.
"His spouse has demands on his time that are not practical for a candidate running for president," said one former senior staffer.