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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Tootle Loo, Newty!
When's this dude dropping out?
Pack it up and go home loser! Some people just cannot take a hint....if they don't like you down south they really hate your guts every where else. So much for the elder statesman act you put on during the debates but the people saw right through you Newt.
Newt, you're done.....we can all see the fork sticking out of you already!!!
"Redesigned"?? He had the nerve to make fun of Romney's Etch A Sketch gaffe when he's doing the exact same thing.
It amazes me that Gingrich believes that he could be president. Just look at that loathesome, bloated, ugly man. Everything about him is awful. From his hateful opinions to his gross appearance, it just amazes me that he has gotten as far as he has. Fortunately Romney will get the nomination and Obama will easily defeat him.
The guy need to simply get out and make way.