(CNN) – Newt Gingrich on Wednesday blamed cash flow for the downsizing of his presidential campaign, but reiterated his plan to stay in the race until another candidate receives the delegates necessary to capture the GOP nomination.
"We're staying in that's exactly why we're downsizing and doing what we need to to be able to stay in," Gingrich told WTOP radio in Washington, D.C. "I think you have to respond to reality and we had you know, cash flow shorter than we'd like it to be so we're doing the appropriate things to be able to campaign."
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On Tuesday, the former House speaker's campaign announced they had replaced the campaign manager and laid off one-third of his staff. Spokesperson R.C. Hammond said the "campaign is being redesigned to make it convention ready," vowing he would stay in the race until the convention in August.
Gingrich explained his determination going forward by comparing his White House effort to a sports team.
"None of you guys would call a football team or a basketball team and say 'gee, why don't you drop you?' You'd say 'OK, there's a season, let's play the season out," Gingrich said. "Until Mitt Romney has 1,144 locked down solidly, I owe it to the people that have helped me for the last year to represent their views and their values."
Gingrich Communications Director Joe DeSantis said the campaign has adopted a new strategy following the acknowledgment they will not have 1,144 delegates, the number needed to clinch the nomination, by June 26, the date of the last nominating contest.
"So what we're going to have to do is convince delegates in the six to eight day period between the last primaries and the convention that Newt is the candidate to defeat Obama and to change Washington," DeSantis told CNN's Soledad O'Brien Wednesday on "Starting Point."
He said the campaign will channel their resources into key delegate states and engage in the national media.
News of the Gingrich campaign shakeup was first reported by Politico.
During an appearance on Fox News Tuesday night Gingrich said he is open to donating personal funds to his campaign but said the campaign is "raising some money."
However, his campaign appears to be facing financial difficulties. As of March 1, the campaign had $1.5 million cash on hand and a debt of $1.6 million, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Although they raised $2.6 million in February, they spent $2.9 million in the same month.
Gingrich's campaign was left for dead by many in May and June, after a number of controversies spurred some of his top advisers and staffers to quit, leaving the campaign coffers in the red.
But the former Georgia congressman performed well in the major GOP presidential debates last summer and in the fall, often acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals attacked each other.
He also won over debate audiences by repeatedly criticizing questions from the moderators and voraciously attacking President Barack Obama.
In mid-November, thanks to his strong debate performances and the fading poll numbers of rival contenders at the time, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and businessman Herman Cain, Gingrich's poll numbers skyrocketed. But the surge did not last and he finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses, the first contest in the nomination calendar, on January 3.
Although Gingrich crushed the competition on January 21, winning the South Carolina Primary, he has since only won Georgia.
Despite his defiance, Gingrich has the longest of odds to capture the nomination. According to a CNN estimate, he has 136 delegates, meaning he would need to win 1,008, or 83% of the remaining delegates, to reach 1,144 delegates.
And it seems that many Republican voters would like to see him end his campaign. According to a CNN/ORC International poll released on Tuesday, six out of ten Republicans and independent voters who lean toward the GOP said that Gingrich should drop out of the race, with 39% saying the former House speaker should not end his bid. A similar amount said that Rep. Ron Paul of Texas should drop out.
The poll, conducted Saturday and Sunday, seems to dispel the notion that if Gingrich dropped out of the race, his supporters would mostly flock to Santorum, considered the other major conservative candidate in the race. A majority of Gingrich supporters questioned said that Romney rather than Santorum is their second choice.
"If you recalculate the GOP horse race using the Gingrich voters' second choice, Romney's lead over Santorum grows to fifteen percentage points, 45% for Romney and 30% for Santorum, compared to the ten-point margin Romney currently has in the four-man field," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
- CNN's Mark Preston and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.