Jeb Bush campaign in reboot mode as salaries, staff cut

Jeb Bush Campaign Slashes Staff Salaries: Sources

Republican Jeb Bush's struggling presidential campaign is cutting salaries across the board and reducing staff in a money-saving effort intended to concentrate resources on early voting states, an internal memo said on Friday.

The memo, obtained by Reuters, said payroll costs were being slashed by 40 percent and staff at the Miami headquarters drastically cut back with some workers offered positions at reduced pay in early voting states like New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada.

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The move follows a dramatic fall in Republican voters' support for Bush's attempt to secure the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and to become the third member of the famous Bush family to win the White House.

"We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election," the memo said.

Considered the heavy favorite for the nomination earlier this year, the former Florida governor is running far behind poll leaders Donald Trump and Ben Carson in national polls and in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states on the 2016 election calendar.

Bush's heavy policy focus has shown him to be among the more serious candidates in the Republican field, but he has been drowned out by Trump's bombastic rhetoric and lacked the polished communication skills of rivals such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

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Jeb Bush campaign in reboot mode as salaries, staff cut
GREENVILLE, SC - SEPTEMBER 18: Former Florida Governor and republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush speaks to voters at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum September 18, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina. Eleven republican candidates each had twenty five minutes to talk to voters Friday at the Bons Secours Wellness arena in the upstate of South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 15: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush waves on stage as he announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination during an event at Miami-Dade College - Kendall Campus on June 15 , 2015 in Miami, Florida. Bush joins a list of Republican candidates to announce their plans on running against the Democrats for the White House. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during a town hall style meeting at La Progresiva Presbyterian School on September 1, 2015 in Miami, Florida. Jeb continues to campaign for the Republican nomination. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 14: Republican presidential hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (C) talks with members of the media as U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (L) (R-IA) and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R) (R-IA) look on during the Iowa State Fair on August 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 14: Republican presidential hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad eat a pork chop on a stick at the Iowa Pork Tent during the Iowa State Fair on August 14, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Presidential candidates are addressing attendees at the Iowa State Fair on the Des Moines Register Presidential Soapbox stage. The State Fair runs through August 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
AMHERST, NH - JULY 4: Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush greets supporters at the 4th of July Parade on July 4, 2015 in Amherst, New Hampshire. Bush is a front-runner in the polls for the 2016 presidential race with 14 other republican candidates. (Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images)
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Bush announced last week that his third-quarter fund-raising was $13.4 million, a competitive sum but not enough to finance the large campaign operation he had built. As of last week he still had $10 million in cash on hand.

"It's no secret that the contours of this race have changed from what was anticipated at the start," the memo said.

The Bush campaign also sought to reassure donors who have cooled toward the idea that he still has a path to the nomination.

The staff deployments from Miami will have a special focus on increasing the Bush presence in New Hampshire. Bush will make more trips to the early voting states as well.

"We will take every single step necessary to ensure Jeb is the Republican nominee and next president of the United States. We are unapologetic about adjusting our game plan to meet the evolving dynamics of this race to ensure that outcome," the memo said.

The cost-cutting moves were welcome in the Bush donor community, where there have been concerns about his prospects.

"I particularly appreciate that this strategy shift was quick, strategic and bold. As a donor, I am thrilled to see the campaign focus the lion's share of resources on voter contact and this will redirect energy to early states," said Slater Bayliss, a Florida lobbyist who is bundling donations for Bush.

(Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Paul Simao)

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