Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) presidential campaign is enacting “across-the-board” pay cuts for his staff, Bloomberg Politics reported Friday.
Bloomberg’s Michael Bender and Mark Halperin, citing anonymous campaign officials, wrote that Bush is removing some senior staffers from his campaign payroll, dropping some consultants, and cutting payroll by 40%.
Bush campaign spokeswoman Allie Brandenberger, reached for comment on the report, confirmed that the campaign has shifted direction.
“We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election,” she said in an email.
“Jeb is the one candidate with a proven conservative record, bold ideas and the strong leadership needed to fix the problems America faces. We are moving our resources into the states to ensure that voters in primary and caucus states are introduced to his record and vision for the future.”
The reported cuts come as Bush, once declared a Republican front-runner, has lagged behind in public polls of the race, which has seen the rise of outsider contenders like real-estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Trump and Carson have a combined support that approaches 50% in the Real Clear Politics average of national polls, while Bush is at roughly 7%, or fifth place, in the same average. At the same time, other establishment-oriented candidates, like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), have seen a boost of support in recent weeks.
A Bush adviser told Bloomberg that the campaign was “unapologetic” about the cuts.
“This is about winning the race,” the adviser said. “We’re doing it now and making the shifts with confidence. We expect to win.”
Bush is also boosted by the operations of his super PAC, Right to Rise, which raised a monstrous $US100 million earlier in the year while Bush was ostensibly still mulling a potential campaign. The super PAC is legally required to be independent, but is likely to flood the airwaves with ads supporting Bush’s candidacy.
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