Jeb Bush Orders Pay Cuts, Fires Some Staff, Refocuses Efforts of Struggling Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush arrives onstage to participate in the LIBRE Initiative's policy forum series at the College of Southern Nevada in North Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 21. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush arrives onstage to participate in the LIBRE Initiative’s policy forum series at the College of Southern Nevada in North Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 21. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

Jeb Bush is shaking up his struggling presidential campaign, ordering across-the-board pay cuts, downsizing his headquarters staff, cutting ties with some consultants and refocusing his efforts on retail campaigning and on-the-ground organizing in the early voting states.

Bush’s major course correction, first reported Friday by Bloomberg Politics, comes as the one-time front-runner languishes in the single digits in polls and struggles to catch on with Republican voters. The former Florida governor’s fundraising slowed over the summer and his donors and other supporters have grown concerned about his standing in the race.

In a statement Friday morning announcing the moves, campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said, “We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election. 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 campaign, which entered October with $10.3 million in the bank, is taking significant steps to curtail spending. It is slashing its budget, excluding media and voter contact efforts, by 45 percent from its June plans, and is reducing ties to some consultants to eliminate what the campaign sees as extraneous overhead costs.

The campaign also is reducing payroll by 40 percent, including salary cuts for every employee save the most entry-level staffers. Only 25 percent of the staff will remain in place at Miami headquarters, with another 25 percent already in early voting states and the majority of remaining staff offered positions in the states or as part of a ballot access team at a reduced wage.

The campaign also will cut travel expenses by 20 percent and overhaul Bush’s schedule, shifting focus from fundraising events to make space on the candidate’s calendar for more town hall meetings and other retail campaign stops in the early voting states.

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SOURCE: Philip Rucker 
The Washington Post