With his struggling campaign strapped for cash and his failed message failing to resonate with even the GOP fringe, Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich is firing a third of his staff — including his campaign manager — and cutting back on his schedule.
Campaign manager Michael Krull is gone, replaced by longtime advisor Vince Haley. Sources tell Capitol Hill Blue Haley is working for expenses only.
“The campaign is broke,” one campaign aide said. “We’re out of money and out of steam.”
Gingrich dropped a hint early Tuesday that changes were coming, saying “money is very tight obviously.” A few hours later, word came down from the campaign that a third of the staff were out.
Money is so tight that Gingrich is charging supporters $50 a piece if they want a photo taken with him.
Despite the cuts, Gingrich still clings to the claim he is in the campaign until the contention in Tampa in August.
“Clearly, we are going to have to go on a fairly tight budget to get here to Tampa but I think we can do it,” he told the few reporters who still follow his campaign. Some news organizations pulled their reporters from coverage of the Gingrich campaign after his poor showing in Saturday’s Louisiana primary.
Most news organizations now concentrate the bulk of their resources on the campaigns of frontrunner Mitt Romney and his only viable challenger, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, relegating coverage of Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul to free-lancers and interns.
“News organizations put their resources on those who stand a chance,” says media consultant Brian Estill. “The race is between Romney and Santorum. Gingrich is finished and Paul is a blip.”