WASHINGTON (UPI) — Dr. Ben Carson announced Thursday that his campaign is laying off about 50 staffers due to cash flow problems, but vowed he was still in the race for the long haul.
The Washington Post first reported Carson’s plans for a considerable downsizing of his campaign. The retired neurosurgeon plans to reduce salaries and fly commercial, rather than on private jets.
Many of the employees being laid off worked in field operations and at his campaign headquarters in Northern Virginia. The layoffs comprise about half of Carson’s staff.
This is not the first shakeup for Carson’s campaign, which suffered a mass exodus of top staff in December.
“A key tenet of Dr. Carson’s philosophy and campaign is fiscal responsibility, to that end, he realized that the practices of the past had to be fine-tuned and refined in order to pave the way for a leaner and more efficient organization,” the campaign said in a statement. “This is a common practice utilized to reduce risk and leverage opportunity – whether in a campaign, the federal government or corporate America.”
Carson told Fox News on Thursday the cuts were planned before the Iowa caucuses, in which Carson placed fourth.
“I would hope people would recognize that trying to create efficiency is a characteristic that they would like to see in their leaders,” he said, adding that he expects to campaign until a Republican nominee is formally chosen this summer.
Carson was once tied with Donald Trump in November for front-runner status in the Republican race. Campaign officials told the Post that polling losses since then have translated into fundraising losses, which forced the decision to cut staff.
The news comes shortly after Carson accused Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas of “dirty tricks” that may have cost Carson votes in Iowa. The short-lived feud sprung up after allegations that Cruz’s campaign spread rumors among caucus-goers that Carson had dropped out of the race.
This week, Trump also accused Cruz of “stealing” the Iowa vote.
Cruz apologized to Carson earlier this week, but the former neurosurgeon told CNN on Thursday there should be consequences for Cruz.
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