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Gingrich Campaign on the Ropes

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English: Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is dramatically curtailing his campaign schedule, laying off about a third of his staff and dismissing his campaign manager as he focuses on a last-ditch effort to win the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention.

Gingrich's strategy hinges on preventing front-runner Mitt Romney from winning the 1,144 delegates he needs for the nomination, Gingrich spokesman RC Hammond said Tuesday night. The former House speaker plans to spend much less time in primary states and instead personally call delegates to try to persuade them to back him at the Republican National Convention in August.

"We are not going to cede to Mitt Romney's strategy to take the party down," Hammond said. Ultimately, Gingrich would take the fight to the convention floor, Hammond said.

The new strategy doesn't change Gingrich's promise to support Romney if Romney collects the necessary delegates before the party convenes in Tampa, Fla., Hammond said.

In the meantime, Gingrich planned to shift the campaign's focus to digital outreach - in particular Twitter, YouTube and other social media.

Gingrich's campaign manager, Michael Krull, was asked to resign. Hammond and campaign communications director Joe DeSantis will remain with the campaign. Both have been working for Gingrich for more than a year, even as a group of consultants quit the campaign last summer.

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