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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Mr. Gingrich appeals to perhaps 5% of the voters. He could never be elected. He would only guarantee a BO landslide.
But the powers that be don't really care who gets into office as long as the POTUS is either a Democrat or Republican. Whether the war machine gets 98% or 99% of their request for the terror war – they will live with it.
Have any of these people checked Newt's numbers in the State races and the polls..Talk about being in a state of denial..Newt could win any Sheriff's office in the Deep South.....That's it..
Time to call out the fat lady!
He refuses to give up, so he can continue to 'fundraise for his campaign' and any money left over after the election he gets to keep. Smart? Or just greedy? You decide...
When there is a brokered convention and they elect you, then you beat Barack Obama, we can have a celebration on your lunar colony!
thats two sets of staff he has been through in this campaign, the first ones quit, oh , what a great candidate.
Convention ready? How is that? to be prepared to sit in the back and wave?
A death rattle by any other name...
For cryin out loud, Newt, it's time to get out of the race!
How seriously can we take a man named "Newt"?
Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
You started out as a one trick pony and you ended the race as the same pony.
Ah, good. Put a fork in him, he's done.
I regret I have only read the headline. But I believe it was all that was necessary. While i think at his age he shouldnt be still playing with his "staff". It is refreshing to know he will refocus his energies on his campaign. His wife should be more attentive to his needs, so that he would leave his "staff" alone. Just my two cents, and Booyah to Cnn for bringing such an edgy story to light.
You look tired mr Gingrich. Maybe its time to take a nap and wake up in about 6 months.
Don't know why but after reading this the song "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag" popped in my head.
"Refocus" is campaign speak for "it's over".
Dear Brain of Newt,
Say good bye and good night for FOREVER Newt!
Thank you EVER SO MUCH for the AMAZING HUMOR that you've added to the Republican Circus!!!!
Well, I have to agree with one thing Gingrich said – neither Romney nor Santorum can beat Obama. Of course, neither can Gingrich or Paul, so Gingrich was only half right.
This guy is completely delusional if he really believes he can win the GOP nomination. His own party doesn't even want him, so why would or should the whole nation? He has no morals, ethics or scruples. He always does what he thinks is best for Gingrich, and to hell with everybody else.
Mr Gingrich could save everyone, including himself, a lot of trouble if he went to Tampa right now, and maybe did some beachcombing or looked for a 4th wife or something.
He is closing his shop, folks.
He just doesn't get it, he doesn't stand a chance. Let him stay and divide the Republicans.
Old Newt looks like he could use something to pick up his spirits... In the past a new wife always seemed to help.
Newt, please save some face and call it quits.
Let go my ego.
Time to say good bye to politics and spend retire life, enjoyed the monies got from lobbyist.