Gingrich shakes up campaign, cuts staff
By Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza,
Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is scaling back, cutting one-third of its full-time staff and replacing his campaign manager as part of an effort to sustain itself, campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told The Fix.
Gingrich has already replaced his top aide, Michael Krull, with Vince Haley, who had been deputy campaign manager and a policy advisor. In addition to the other staffing cuts, Gingrich will not travel as frequently to the remaining primary states and will instead focus on communicating with voters through the internet, videos and social media.
“We’re readying the campaign for the convention floor,” Hammond said, citing the campaign’s commitment to stay in the race until the end.
The news was first reported Tuesday by Politico’s Mike Allen.
The former House speaker has won just two states and is a distant third in the delegate count. His campaign has also seen a significant dropoff in fundraising and is strapped for cash. His recently filed campaign finance report, covering the period through the end of February, showed the candidate had more debt than cash.
“The money’s very tight, obviously,” Gingrich said during an appearance in Maryland on Tuesday. “We have the money to keep going.”
In addition, a super PAC supporting Gingrich that had received $16.5 million from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his family has largely run out of cash, with no indication that the Adelsons have continued to fund it.
In addition to having won just two states, Gingrich has seen some of his most lackluster performances in recent states. In the Illinois primary last week, for example, Gingrich finished in fourth place, behind Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), with just 8 percent of the vote.
Despite this, Gingrich has pledged to stay in the race until the August convention in Tampa, Fla., provided Mitt Romney doesn’t secure the nomination before then. Currently, Romney is on pace to win the nomination, securing a majority of the available delegates.
“If we get to June 26 and Gov. Romney does not have a majority, I think you’ll then have one of the most interesting open conventions in American history,” Gingrich said Tuesday.
It’s the second major shakeup for Gingrich’s campaign, but the first wasn’t by design. The campaign experienced a staff exodus in June when the former House speaker was floundering in the polls.
Greg Masters and Amy Gardner contributed to this report.