Gingrich-founded think tank files for bankruptcy

The health care consulting firm founded by Newt Gingrich has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and will liquidate its assets, just a year after Gingrich cuts ties with it to run for office.

The Center for Health Transformation filed papers with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta indicating the think tank holds $1 million-$10 million in liabilities, with assets valued below $100,000.

Gingrich's lawyer, though, said the news has no effect on his candidacy and reflects Gingrich's importance in the company, not a failure of his management skills. Gingrich divested himself of CHT in May 2011 to run for the presidency.

"The secret sauce to Center for Health Transformation was Newt's brain," lawyer Stefan Passantino said.

"This was a for-profit entity bringing together business, thought, and academic leaders to talk about solutions to healthcare," Passantino said. "He built the entity. But it's clear when he left when the room, the interest of all the other leaders of being in that room waned. There was nothing Newt could have done to survive the vacuum he left."

Gingrich's association with CHT first drew national scrutiny for consulting contracts with Freddie Mac, which opponents used to suggest he was a lobbyist in the lead-up to the housing meltdown.

The bankruptcy news comes at a time when his campaign is trying to maintain relevance in the Republican presidential race.

Gingrich has won just two primaries -- one in South Carolina and the other in Georgia -- and it has been a month since he's been able to notch any wins.