Gingrich to lay off one-third of campaign staff

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a news conference after a visit to the Maryland State House in Annapolis Md., Tuesday, March, 27, 2012. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a news conference after a visit to the Maryland State House in Annapolis Md., Tuesday, March, 27, 2012.
AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

(CBS News) Facing the reality of plummeting poll numbers and dwindling financial resources, Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign announced Tuesday evening it would be cutting back on staff and curtailing the former House Speaker's public appearances.

Spokesman RC Hammond told CBS News the campaign would lay off around one-third of its staff. In addition, campaign manager Michael Krull has been replaced by his deputy, Vince Haley. John Fluharty will continue to lead the campaign's effort to court convention delegates.

At a press conference in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday, Gingrich hinted at the changes, but insisted he would remain in the race until the Republican convention in Tampa this August.

"Clearly we're going to have to go on a fairly tight budget to get from here to Tampa," Gingrich said. "But I think we can do it and I think we will do it."

Candidate page: Newt Gingrich
Complete coverage: Election 2012

At the end of February, the campaign reported just $1.5 million cash on hand and an equal amount of debt. Just one day ago, the campaign began charging supporters $50 for photographs with the candidate at events, something he had previously done for free.

Gingrich finished third in last Saturday's Louisiana primary with just under 16 percent of the vote. A Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin GOP primary voters released today put the former Speaker at just 5 percent. The Badger state, which votes on Tuesday, is seen as the next big testing ground for the Republican candidates.

Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting to this story

  • Sarah Huisenga On Twitter»

    Sarah Huisenga is covering the Mitt Romney campaign for CBS News and National Journal.

Comments