Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is cutting a significant chunk of his staff amid money problems, NBC News confirms.
In a statement to be released Thursday, his campaign will announce a “reduction of personnel” as a result of a “realignment of positions and responsibilities.” Aides to Dr. Carson say around 50 staffers will be let go.
A Carson campaign aide told NBC News that the shakeups will help them last though the early primary states, “and beyond.”
The former pediatric neurosurgeon came in fourth in Iowa with 9 percent of the vote. It was an expected, but disappointing finish for the candidate who was appealing with religious voters in the state where 64 percent of the caucusgoers on Monday identified as evangelicals.
As results came in Monday night, Carson called out rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for engaging in "dirty tricks." Cruz's state staff internally shared a report that Carson was traveling to Florida immediately after the caucuses, suggesting that Carson was planning to drop out. The email advised precinct captains to inform Carson supporters at caucus locations and urge them to support Ted Cruz. Cruz ended up apologizing for his campaign's actions.
A senior aide to Carson tells NBC News that online fundraising spiked 300 percent in the days after the caucuses. The aide attributed it to Carson’s fourth place finish and supporters feeling that Carson was being treated unfairly.
But Carson's money problems are the latest tumult in his organization. A campaign staff exodus that included his campaign manager and top aides began on New Year's Eve over internal strife involving Carson's close confidante Armstrong Williams.
Carson's money woes come even as he has posted impressive fundraising numbers. He raised more than any other Republican presidential candidate in the last quarter of 2015, bringing in $22.6 million.
Indicating that the campaign is spending a large amount of money to win Iowa, he spent $4.5 million on postage and printing for mailed advertisements. The campaign also spent another $4.5 million on digital media and $2.4 million on phone calls to supporters in the last quarter, according to records filed with the Federal Election Committee.
Carson's campaign insists that its coffers are sufficiently full.
"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 statement about the staff cuts reads.
Now that the primary contests have begun, the field has started to winnow. Three Republicans, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, dropped out of the race since Monday.