In an announcement made this past Friday Jeb Bush’s cash strapped campaign said that it has been forced to cut spending, staff and seek-out new donors as his campaign falls on hard times both in the polls and in its bank account.
The campaign will be cutting up to 40 percent of its staff and cutting back on travel costs by 20 percent in a bid to reduce overhead.
“We’ve made an adjustment in our campaign,” Bush said Saturday before conducting a town hall in the pivotal state of South Carolina. “That’s what leaders do.”
In response to critics who point to his campaign struggles as evidence that he is losing ground to his rivals Bush had a simple, yet thoughtful response.
“Blah, blah, blah,” Bush said. “That’s my answer — blah, blah, blah.”
Bush’s campaign began October with $10.3 million in the bank account. The reductions will mean that his campaign will have to step back on efforts like voter contact and some events.
As it stands now, 25 percent of his staff will remain at Bush’s campaign headquarters in Miami and another 25 percent are being sent on ahead to early voting states to lay the ground work for the campaign.
Bush cited John McCain’s eventual successful bid for the GOP nomination in 2008 as evidence that this is still early days and that campaigns can survive such setbacks.
“October is not when you elect people,” Bush said before hosting a town hall at a Catholic high school in Charleston. “It’s February, and then you move into March.”
During the first six months of the year, Bush’s Political Action Committee, Right to Rise, was able to raise $103 million. Direct donations to his campaign are much smaller, at about $1.2 million.
The massive campaign infrastructure Bush has assembled is consuming money too fast essentially and needs to make its dollars go further.
Jeb Bush’s father George H.W. Bush and his brother, George W. Bush, the nation’s 41st and 43rd President’s respectively, organized a family reunion/donor summit in Texas over the weekend.
The summit was designed to show Jeb’s wealthiest donors that the campaign was still full of life, and to encourage them to reinvest.
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“Having 41 around helps take the edge off, but we all read the same newspapers and look at the same polls and it’s tough right now. There are a lot of people we thought would have written checks who aren’t on board yet,” one donor said. “In some ways, it’s reassuring being here and looking around seeing that there’s still a lot of support for Jeb.”