Newt Gingrich Fires One-Third Of Campaign Staff

Apparently Newt Gingrich’s path to the nomination involves sending a good portion of his campaign staff packing:

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.

Gingrich officials declined to specify who else besides Krull would be leaving. “Not getting into it right now besides Krull,” DeSantis said.

But another campaign official said the layoffs would largely affect junior and advance staff, the latter of which was contracted out to Gordon James Public Relations. Gingrich consultant Kellyanne Conway and political director Martin Baker will both retain their roles, according to officials. The advance staff also received word on Tuesday afternoon to submit their final expense reports.


The new Gingrich world order is largely a strategy of necessity: Gingrich places a distant third in delegates, behind 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). That situation is unlikely to improve given Gingrich has captured no momentum in the polls.


About a dozen staff members “will be transitioning out by the end of the month,” including some at the campaign office in Arlington, and some working out in the states, DeSantis said.

The remaining staff will be waging a campaign aimed at what DeSantis termed a “big choice convention” in Tampa this summer. Both Gingrich — and Rick Santorum — are setting their sights argue that Romney cannot reach the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, and even if they can’t either, they may be able to prevent him from doing so.

“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.” DeSantis wrote in an email.

And so, the Newt Gingrich for President campaign enters the ridiculous phase. If Gingrich actually thinks that the Republican Party is going to turn to the guy who is in third place in both the delegate count and the popular vote, and who right now won’t even qualify for a place on the convention ballot, then he is completely delusional. However, he has to believe in this fantastical idea, otherwise why would he continue this crusade even after the press has stopped following him and his campaign finances are so bad that he has to start charging for photographs?

It’s all pretty pathetic, but in the end the Gingrich campaign is ending exactly the way everyone thought it would end. It just took a little longer.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Fiona says:

    Newt Gingrich’s campaign entered the ridiculous phase when he entered the race. Now it’s somewhere well beyond pathetic.

  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Gingrich still had campaign staff?

  3. J-Dub says:

    Rachel Maddow explained it well last night:

    In short, Newt’s awesomeness transcends traditional campaigning.

    Why’s everybody running this marathon? I’m going to drive to the finish line, want me to pick you up something from McD’s on the way?