Gingrich think tank files for bankruptcy

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at a town hall meeting at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La., Tuesday, March 20, 2012.
AP Photo/Kita Wright
Newt Gingrich
AP Photo/Kita Wright

(CBS News) -- One of the many organizations started by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, giving ammunition to his political rivals and possibly putting a stake in the heart of his already floundering run for the White House.

The Center for Health Transformation, which Gingrich formed in 2003 as a for-profit organization "dedicated to the creation of a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that saves lives and saves money," filed for Chapter 7 in U.S. bankruptcy court in the northern district of Georgia.

Chapter 7 allows for the liquidation of assets and sale of proceeds to creditors. Gingrich is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the think tank.

Stefan Passantino, counsel to the Gingrich campaign, said the bankruptcy filing should not be taken as a failure of the former speaker's leadership ability, as he is no longer involved in the running of the organization.

"In fact it shows just the opposite," Passantino said, noting the the Center for Health Transformation was "very profitable" while Newt was involved and it shows how much of a "lynchpin" he was in making the operation a success.

Gingrich divested his stake in the group in May of last year as he ramped up his presidential bid.

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