Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich has replaced his campaign manager and is laying off one-third of his staff, but has vowed to continue his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, a spokesman confirms to CNN.
"The campaign is being redesigned to make it convention ready," spokesman R.C. Hammond said. "Speaker Gingrich is committed to going all the way to Tampa."
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Michael Krull, who took over as campaign manager in June 2011, is leaving. Krull is being replaced by longtime Gingrich aide Vince Haley.
Hammond described Krull's departure as amicable.
"He should be applauded for the role he played," Hammond said. Krull remained with the campaign, as did Hammond, when many of Gingrich's staffers, including his senior leadership team, quit last summer.
News of the Gingrich campaign shakeup was first reported by Politico.
Hammond said the campaign will spend the coming months leading up to the Republican National Convention trying to convince Republicans - specifically delegates - that the former House speaker is the best choice to be the GOP nominee. In doing so, the campaign will refocus its strategy.
"We are going to invest in online, low-cost communications," Hammond said. "In many ways we will be talking directly to the delegates."
"The only way to beat Barack Obama is to have a distinct choice," Hammond said. "Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will lose to Barack Obama."
Gingrich communications director Joe DeSantis characterized the campaign changes as reorganization and a refocusing of the campaign.
DeSantis said a Gingrich campaign event scheduled for Wednesday at Georgetown University in Washington would proceed as planned, as would events slated for later this week in Maryland and Wisconsin.
Fellow candidate Rick Santorum reacted to the news of Gingrich’s campaign shakeup at a rally in Wisconsin.
“One of the things I was told very early on in presidential politics is you're running for president as long as somebody hangs in,” Santorum said. “And so I can certainly understand that. I don't know what his plans are, as I said before. We're going to run our race irrespective of who's in and who's out. I think what we're seeing is the race is clearly becoming a two-person race.”
Santorum added he thought Gingrich was “a good man” and a friend.
“I just wish him the best whatever he decides to do,” Santorum said.
CNN estimates Gingrich has 134 delegates, well behind front-runner Mitt Romney, who is estimated to have won 559 delegates, and Santorum, who has 262. A candidate needs 1,144 delegates to secure the GOP nomination.
In a CNN/ORC International Poll released Tuesday, six out of 10 Republicans said Gingrich should drop out of the race, with 39% saying Gingrich should not end his bid. A majority of Republicans questioned in the survey said their party's presidential nomination should be determined by the primaries and caucuses rather than at the GOP convention in Tampa, Florida.
CNN’s Shawna Shepherd and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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Quit it all the way, newt.
Give it up Newt. The winds have died down in your sailboat. Now you are just drifting.
I've got to buy more popcorn. This is so much fun.
Now if only he would dip a little less oil into his salad...
It's sort of good to see that Newt Gingrich is slowly beginning to acknowledge that he is dead meat. Decent Republicans, if there are any left, should ignore him and toss him out if he goes to Tampa. It doesn't really matter who eventually wins there, since the nominee will lose, but decent Republicans might finally begin to redeem themselves if they toss him out. Of course, it won't happen in 2012. Perhaps a decade later.
hey Gingrich, quit!!!
Santorum just loves saying "this is becoming a two person race." Amazing how repetitive these candidate are, their constituency doesn't ike free thinking, apparently. Repeat slogan. Say it again. Repeat.
Too bad Gingrich can can't simply raise a BILLION dollars from the one percenters, and simply buy the White House, like Obama is trying to do.
Out right now . I have had enough of this . Gingrich leave ... you have no chance to be president. Go write a book about why you think you are so great ..... who cares ...
I haven't seen Newt Gingrich look his opponents in the eye and speak during debates. I think that's a sign of weakness. Not so with Mitt Romney – he looks at his opponents straight in the eye when making his point. Romney is by far the best Republican candidate to take on Pres. Obama in the debates.
I still don't understand why he doesn't see the writing on the wall and just fold his campaign. Doesn't he get a hint from the fact that he doesn't have enough supporters to fund his campaign??? The reason that's happening is because everybody knows that he doesn't stand a chance. He should drop out right now, and Santorum should follow closely behind.
I think Newt is trying to drive up the unemployment rate!
At this point I'm wondering if Newt hasn't lost a bet or simply gone mad. Seriously, what he is going to accomplish other than piling on the embarrassment the longer this "campaign" continues.
Dropping staff is a refocus?
Sorry, Newt, but it's fork time.
Well if Gingrich says that Romney and Santorum will lose to Obama, Gingrich will have the total tar beat out of him in one of the biggest landslide victories ever. Gingrich will lose bigger than anyone ever has. No one will want a lying, cheating, narcissistic fool and his mistress in the white house.
Delusional. Disruptive. Arrogant.
Vote for Mitt Romney who can save America!!
Sounds like a sure loser to me. Any one that would vote for this man in lacking in the ability to reason and determine between truth and lies.
Making staff convention ready? The convention is like 3 months away. Newt....no one likes you...get it?
What part of "we don't want you sleazball" doesn't he understand? You can't blame the media for all your sleeze.
"Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will lose to Barack Obama."
Because President Obama is a better choice and is better for the country.
Just give it up Gingrich.
what's the point, newt?
The attack ads against other GOP candidates are only serving to strengthen Obama's chances.