Gingrich lays off staff, refocuses campaign
March 27th, 2012
10:58 PM ET
10 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. Harry

    Well Gingrich is right about one thing. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum WILL lose to Obama. The problem is Gingrich will lose as well. Obama 2012.

    March 28, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  2. LiquaFoo

    This is laughable

    March 28, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  3. Thomas

    I was hoping to pay Newt 50 bucks to have my photo taken next to him at the Zoo !

    Expectations !

    March 28, 2012 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  4. Charles the All - KNowing!

    He laid off staff? He needs to lay off the Big Macs!!!

    I think he's going to explode.

    March 28, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. George

    If any GOP member takes it away from Romney at the convention GOP turnout will slump in November.

    March 28, 2012 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  6. partysstink

    So to heck with people votes he will try to go around the people and there are people that want him as prez.

    March 28, 2012 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  7. Proud51

    A man that is not smart enough to realize at this junction that people who belong to his party do not want me for their President, then demostrates that he is not smart to be President in the first place. To his presidential bid now he needs to add, experience laying off people.

    March 28, 2012 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  8. FreedomOrDeath

    He might as well save time by burning his money.

    March 28, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  9. porky pie

    "I think what we're seeing is the race is clearly becoming a two-person race."

    sure is. obama and biden.

    March 28, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  10. John-117

    Gingrich! I got news for you. You are not going to be president. Time to cut your losses

    March 28, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  11. krehator

    Talk about beating a dead horse....

    The Grinch has lost touch with reality, and his followers are in la la land.

    March 28, 2012 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  12. Steven Brooks


    Let their divisiveness weaken and destroy them.

    March 28, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  13. Anon12

    Time to cut the fat.

    March 28, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  14. dontletemfoolya

    "We are going to invest in online, low-cost communications," Hammond said. "In many ways we will be talking directly to the delegates."

    Translation: "Stick the fork in, we're done."

    March 28, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  15. Capitan

    Waste. Of. Time. Give it up, Newt..

    March 28, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  16. Demo

    Old warhorse just can't let go. Too bad, he'd be happier for it.

    March 28, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  17. Kevin B

    Sure, Newt. Blame your staff for your failings.

    March 28, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  18. Gary

    Convention Ready. That's Comedy. What he did was fire the staff because he is not winning. Period. He had a Tirade and through a Santorum Tantrum and Fired all of his sorry crony good ole boy and gal staff. Sooner or later, he will give up entirely on the Presidential Bid, realizing that He has no destiny in becoming POTUS.

    March 28, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  19. Newter Newt

    Gingrich only started this campaign as a glorified book tour. It's gone even better than he expected and will boost his career as a conservative blowhard. He's only holding out now until someone bribes him to drop out.

    March 28, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  20. landofgreatness

    Between Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney, together they make the perfect Republican.

    1) Full of self
    2) Self righteous and out of touch
    3) Say anything to get elected and forget what they said last.

    My God people, keep these knuckleheads far away from any public office.

    They are just – not very much into you.

    March 28, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  21. DoubeW

    Heh heh heh. Hang in there, Newt! Keep the Clown Parade going! The farther you can force the GOP race into the ditch of looney-tune fringe irrelevance, the better it'll be for the country. Surely you can do that, as a partial repayment for the mess your "Contract on America" created.

    March 28, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. ageezus

    So you might say...that is campaign has been NEWTeured.

    March 28, 2012 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  23. 66Biker

    I used to always say that in general it is foolhardy to waste money. So my advice to anyone who is backing anyone who has a zero chance of being elected was always not to do that. I think that is good advice anytime, but specially when you consider the current state of the economy. The only way to fix the problem in Washington DC is to get rid of corrupt politicians. But considering that both and Republicons are nearly equally bad choices, with Democrats being only ever so slightly better, what are we supposed to do? We need Independents now more than ever.

    March 28, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  24. kwynh12

    Hey Newt ! You need to see psychology doctor. Seem that your brain so damage

    March 28, 2012 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  25. Bimbolet

    Way to go Newt! We need another Republican president that will invade Syria or Iran or maybe even Saudi Arabia!
    We want a Republican president that won't say yes to monogamy. Women stay home and keep a pill between the knees and kids can work weaving carpet or something for the super pac billionaires. Amen Amen!

    March 28, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
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