Struggling Jeb Bush Downsizes Campaign, Cuts Payroll 40 Percent

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In a sign that the Bush campaign is in deep trouble, Bloomberg Politics reported on Friday that the Bush campaign was downsizing to remain competitive in the run up to the nation’s first presidential caucuses and primaries. The campaign is letting some workers go, and implementing drastic pay cuts for many of the workers who will stay.

Jeb’s campaign plans to cut payroll by 40 percent within a week. The campaign is also downsizing their Miami headquarters, in the hopes that a leaner operation can keep them afloat as they limp into the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. Bush is polling a distant 5th place in Iowa, and a distant 3rd place in New Hampshire.

Although the campaign has tried to put a positive, upbeat spin on the changes, cutting staff pay and scaling back a political operation 100 days before the first votes are cast, is not a sign of strength. The Bush campaign is fighting for political survival, and they know their prospects of securing the Republican nomination have grown bleaker by the day.

The staff pay cut announcement began with the optimistic line:

Jeb is in this race for the long haul.

While this line was intended to be reassuring to Jeb’s supporters, the mere fact that a presidential campaign has to say they plan on sticking around until the election, is a sign that even they have doubts. Confident candidates don’t have to remind people they are actually running until Election Day, that is simply taken for granted.

The campaign did admit that they were flabbergasted by Donald Trump’s unexpected strength in the GOP race, taking the opportunity to slam Trump for being a reality TV star who supported “Canadian-style single payer health care and partial birth abortion.” Yet, even that jab seemed merely to highlight Jeb’s desperation, rather than coming across as a forceful blow against Trump’s candidacy.

When Jeb Bush entered the GOP race, most political pundits simply assumed he would be one of the leading Republican candidates. However, Bush’s inept campaign has not polled well, and there is no sign that his numbers will improve any time soon. The payroll cuts may be a warning sign that the campaign is on the brink of collapse. Jeb Bush should be preparing an exit strategy, and the employees working for him should be planning one as well. In fact, they might want to locate the nearest exit before the lights go out.

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