Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a “big-choice convention” strategy, communications director Joe DeSantis told POLITICO.
Michael Krull, a former advance man and a college friend of Callista Gingrich’s who took over the campaign after a staff exodus in June, was replaced last weekend by Vince Haley, who has worked for Gingrich for nine years and currently is deputy campaign manager and policy director.
“We’re focusing exclusively on what it’ll take to win what we’re going to be calling a big-choice convention in August,” DeSantis said in a phone interview Tuesday night.
It’s largely a strategy of necessity: The former House Speaker is a distant third in delegates, behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. His campaign-finance report for February, released last week, showed more debt ($1.55 million) than cash on hand ($1.54 million).
DeSantis elaborated on the announcement in an email: “Newt 2012 is transitioning into an organization appropriate for winning a big choice convention. This big choice convention phase will be focused on two goals. 1. Affecting the national dialogue to show that Gingrich is the most capable of defeating Obama, by leading on issues that put the president on defense – like Newt’s $2.50 Gas Plan; and 2. A parallel communications strategy directly to the delegates.