Newt Gingrich Cuts Staff, Trims Schedule, Turns to Twitter

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 30:  Republican presidential candidate, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) addresses a campaign rally at the Tampa Jet Center January 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Gingrich and fellow candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are criss-crossing Florida on the last full day of campaigning before the January 31 primary.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
@newtgingrich Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2012 Getty Images

Newt Gingrich continues to defy calls from conservatives to bow out of the two-man but really one-man race for the Republican presidential nomination, but now he's been forced to take a scalpel to his staff and campaign schedule. Gingrich replaced his manager and will lay off roughly one-third of his campaign's full-time staff. Communications director Joe DeSantis told Politico that he and aides view the move as a “big choice convention” strategy. Give him credit for a new, buzzy phrase. Vince Haley will be in charge of the "big choice convention" phase of the campaign.

DeSantis said on Tuesday night:

“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.

An aide said of DeSantis:

 “We think that a big part of how we succeed is getting back to core Gingrich, which is a focus on big ideas and positive solutions – having someone who is intimately aware of Newt’s policy positions and the way things are framed, and has been working with Newt for so long on the policy front. We think that having him as the campaign manager is very important.”

Gingrich will visit remaining states with primaries but at a less frequent click. In addition, the campaign will, "be more digital, focusing on low-cost communications tools, including informational videos, social media and the web."

Meaning that the final messages of Gingrich's 2012 run will dribble out on Twitter. Probably originating somewhere near the panda exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.