Dear Dirty America


Newt Gingrich Dines & Dashes from McDonald’s

April 12
15:00 2012

Credit: Gage Skidmore

HARRISBURGH, PA — The Newt Gingrich campaign train has spent too much money and is now, reportedly, broke. After bouncing a $500 check to the state of Utah, news outlets revealed Gingrich’s unpaid bills to small business owners, such as Larry Scheffler. Scheffler’s printing company did over $7000 worth of rally signs and bumper stickers in January, but hasn’t been paid yet. And Gingrich and his one campaign staffer aren’t returning his calls.

It seems Gingrich has also skipped his bill at a McDonald’s outside of Harrisburgh. The presidential hopeful is on the offensive, trying to woo Pennsylvania’s voters and previous Rick Santorum supporters, but his recent dine and dash may sour his approval levels in the state.

“We were all pretty excited to see a famous politician come in,” said one of the workers. “Everybody wanted to take Newt’s order. We thought maybe he would leave us a big tip if we gave good service.” Gingrich, according to other employees, looked beaten and tired. His shirt was halfway untucked. His shoelaces were untied. His suit pants were wrinkled and looked like they’d been shrunk in the wash.

“He looked hungry,” the worker said, “and he was, because he ordered four Big Macs, and the guy with him ordered four double cheeseburgers and fries.”

McDonald’s customer policy is, “pay first, then get your food.” But Gingrich and his staffer convinced the young man who took their order to prepare and serve the burgers first, and then, after they were done eating, they would pay.

“He said he forgot his wallet in the car,” the worker said, “but he would get it soon as he finished. He promised.” The staffer said Gingrich walked out of the restaurant “kind of fast”, and everybody couldn’t wait for him to return with the money and (hopefully) their generous tip.

“He never came back. He disappeared,” the worker said.

McDonald’s has a policy that holds its clerks responsible for getting payment from the customers. It’s to inhibit its workers from giving free food to friends and family. “I got stuck with the bill,” the worker said. He admitted he’ll get over it, but it was kind of expensive. “Most people get filled up with one hamburger.”

Gingrich and his lone staffer can be seen on the security camera leaving the establishment. The camera captured a large blotch on the stomach area of Gingrich’s white shirt, beneath his black suit. “He appears to have eaten his burgers too fast, and maybe spilled a lot of ketchup in the process,” the worker said.


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