Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich's downsized campaign may be leaner. But it won't be meaner.
In an interview with CNN, Gingrich's Chief of Staff Patrick Millsaps said the former speaker plans to steer his attacks away from his one time nemesis Mitt Romney and toward President Barack Obama.
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Part of the rationale for the strategy shift came Monday after Obama was caught on an open microphone telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate after the fall election.
"The moment that Obama is caught on tape trying to cut a deal with Russia so that he can get re-elected, that changed the ballgame for Newt Gingrich," Millsaps said. "Obama is the person that we need to beat and Obama is the one that we're gonna take on."
After a bitter primary battle with Romney, Gingrich seemed to soften his rhetoric on the GOP frontrunner at an event in Annapolis, Maryland on Tuesday.
Gingrich told reporters he plans to throw his support behind Romney if the former Massachusetts governor wins the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
"If he gets a majority, obviously I will support him and will be delighted to do anything I can to help defeat Barack Obama," Gingrich said.