DeSantis’ campaign is cutting jobs as new fiscal pressures emerge

NEW YORK — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis cuts his campaign as he struggles to catch former President Donald Trump in a crowded GOP primary while facing unexpected financial pressures. are doing.

Florida Gov. DeSantis laid off fewer than 10 paid employees late last week to cut operating costs, said a DeSantis aide, who asked not to be identified to discuss internal election strategy. The staff is involved in organizing events and may soon join the DeSantis-backed Super PAC.

The move, first reported by Politico, comes as DeSantis struggles to live up to expectations of being the strongest Republican replacement for Trump. The Florida governor’s political group has raised more money than any other Republican congressman seeking the 2024 nomination, but Trump’s fierce opposition and deep-seated claims about his far-right policies, political prowess and preparations for the presidency. Amid the question, the polls were largely unmoved. national stage.

DeSantis spokesman Andrew Romeo did not deny reports of job cuts, but was optimistic about the campaign’s future path.

“The American people are rallying in support of Ron DeSantis and his plan to reverse Joe Biden’s failures and restore sanity to our nation, especially as voters see him more directly in Iowa. , his momentum will continue,” Romeo said. “It takes a candidate-led, agile campaign to beat Joe Biden and the $72 million behind him, and we are building a movement to get there.”

Despite this optimism, some within DeSantis’ team said the political strategy that led to Florida’s dominant re-election last fall may not work on the national stage. privately admits To that end, DeSantis will host a press conference and meet with CNN’s Jake Tupper on Tuesday, sidestepping the longstanding practice of allowing interviews to mostly conservative media.

The staffing and strategy refresh came less than two months after Mr. DeSantis launched his presidential campaign.

“He’s depressed,” Trump said of DeSantis in an interview with Fox News Channel on Sunday. The former president also suggested he might not participate in next month’s debate, given his lead over Mr. DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers who oppose him.

To have a real chance of rejecting Trump’s Republican presidential nomination at a time when the DeSantis campaign is once again focusing on Iowa in public, DeSantis will be at the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15. Some have already privately admitted that they need to win. Without a clear victory in the Republican primary, Trump is likely to become an unstoppable force in months-long primaries across the country, where momentum often matters more than money, they said. Are concerned.

Mr. DeSantis tried to strengthen his connections in the state during Saturday’s appearance. He called Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds a possible running mate and dismissed President Trump’s recent complaints against her as “completely out of control.”

Asked if he would consider a second-term Republican vice president if he wins the Republican nomination, DeSantis said, “Absolutely.” “I mean, she’s one of the top civil servants in America.”

And while Mr. DeSantis’ political team is well-funded compared to many of his Republican rivals, a quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday revealed some concerns.

DeSantis raised more than $20 million in his first six weeks as a candidate, according to federal reports. That’s a lot of money, but he spent nearly $8 million over the same period, leaving the camp with $12.2 million at the end of June. And about $3 million of that total has been allocated for the general election and cannot be used for the Republican primary.

The report also found that the DeSantis campaign has dozens of paid staff and spends far more on staff than other campaigns.

DeSantis spent more than $890,000 on payroll, including benefits, insurance, payroll taxes and administrative fees, in the first six weeks of his campaign, according to an Associated Press analysis. The campaign also spent more than $845,000 on travel expenses, including regular use of Mr. DeSantis’ private jet.

Still, the pro-DeSantis Super PAC, which is legally barred from cooperating with the campaign, said it had raised a staggering $130 million since the commission was launched in March. More than half came from state-level political commissions once controlled by DeSantis.

The Never Back Down Super PAC is working to build pro-DeSantis infrastructure in the first four states on the presidential nomination calendar, and even in the so-called “Super Tuesday” states where voting takes place in early March. I’ve spent months on it.

Trump’s MAGA movement was blinded by DeSantis’ struggle.

“The more he shows himself, the less attractive he is,” Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone tweeted. He added the hashtag “DeLoser.” DeSantis’ campaign is cutting jobs as new fiscal pressures emerge

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