The Madeleine Brand Show for April 19, 2012

What happens if a failed political candidate owes money?

Newt Gingrich Campaigns In Delaware

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich owes roughly $4.5 million in debt, according to his campaign’s estimates.

The Federal Elections Commission says that almost 40 presidential candidates still owe money for things like consultants, advertising and office space. Some super PAC's still have money left in the bank, but failed candidates themselves often end their own bids deep in debt — even decades after running.

If running for office wasn't hard enough, imagine trying to raise money to pay the bills after you've lost.

Recent candidates like John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani still owe money on their 2008 presidential bids. In Giuliani's case, he owes upwards of $1 million. John Glenn still owed money in 2006 from a presidential campaign in 1984, when the FEC closed his campaign with the debt unpaid.

Julie Bykowicz wrote about the business of ending a presidential bid for Bloomberg Business week and talks with Madeleine about what happens in the world of unpaid campaign debt.


Julie Bykowicz is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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