Gingrich lays off staff, refocuses campaign
March 27th, 2012
10:58 PM ET
2 years ago

Gingrich lays off staff, refocuses campaign

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.

Also see:

Palin congratulates Santorum over 'bulls-' remark

Gingrich campaign charges $50 for photos

Paul: Don't count me out

Romney not worried about Sanoturm, labels Russia No. 1 'foe'


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Michael

    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.

    March 27, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. David Crosby

    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..

    March 27, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  3. mochica

    Time to call out the fat lady!

    March 27, 2012 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. Brian Smith

    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...

    March 27, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  5. mochica

    When there is a brokered convention and they elect you, then you beat Barack Obama, we can have a celebration on your lunar colony!

    March 27, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. joey

    thats two sets of staff he has been through in this campaign, the first ones quit, oh , what a great candidate.

    March 28, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. Kevin

    Convention ready? How is that? to be prepared to sit in the back and wave?

    March 28, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  8. Chris R

    A death rattle by any other name...

    March 28, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  9. D

    For cryin out loud, Newt, it's time to get out of the race!

    March 28, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  10. Bill

    How seriously can we take a man named "Newt"?

    March 28, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  11. ExPAVIC

    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.

    March 28, 2012 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  12. Mike

    Ah, good. Put a fork in him, he's done.

    March 28, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. TheresOneInEveryCrowd

    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.

    March 28, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  14. Tyler

    You look tired mr Gingrich. Maybe its time to take a nap and wake up in about 6 months.

    March 28, 2012 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  15. Jeremy

    Don't know why but after reading this the song "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag" popped in my head.

    March 28, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  16. Mark

    "Refocus" is campaign speak for "it's over".

    March 28, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  17. Duh

    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!!!!

    March 28, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. Wes Scott

    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.

    March 28, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  19. springthecat

    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.

    March 28, 2012 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. Ramesh Shrestha

    He is closing his shop, folks.

    March 28, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  21. PhilipD

    He just doesn't get it, he doesn't stand a chance. Let him stay and divide the Republicans.

    March 28, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  22. Larry L

    Old Newt looks like he could use something to pick up his spirits... In the past a new wife always seemed to help.

    March 28, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  23. Daph1

    Newt, please save some face and call it quits.

    March 28, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. findley quay

    Let go my ego.

    March 28, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  25. Mohammed

    Time to say good bye to politics and spend retire life, enjoyed the monies got from lobbyist.

    March 28, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
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