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Bush Campaign Slashes Staff and Limits Spending in Major Restructuring

Jeb Bush Orders Across-the-Board Pay Cuts for Struggling 2016 Campaign 1:58

Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign will undergo an aggressive restructuring as staff and spending are reduced in across the board cuts, NBC News confirmed Friday.

"We are making changes today to ensure Jeb is best positioned to win the nomination and general election,” the campaign said. “We are moving our resources into the states to ensure that voters in primary and caucus states are introduced to his record and vision for the future."

The cuts include a 40 percent reduction in payroll impacting all but the most entry level staff, a reduced staff level at the campaign’s Miami headquarters, slashing travel costs by 20 percent and cutting 45% of the budget not dedicated to voter contact or media.

As about the cuts, Bush said during a campaign stop in Virginia that the changes show his team is "lean mean and has an ability to adapt." Bush said the circumstances at the start of the election were different than they are now, especially with the rise of candidates like Trump.

Bush added that he is "all in on the early primary states" and that every dollar saved in overhead costs is more money that can be dedicated to television, media and voter outreach.

Friday’s cuts come after months of smaller reductions in spending and staff as the campaign has faced an increasingly challenging political landscape with Bush lagging in the polls behind dominate front runner Donald Trump.

The campaign asserts that it maintains a strong national finance operation that can carry the candidate through the primary and into the general election – reiterating the $13 million it raised during the third quarter and $10 million cash on hand.

Bush frequently says he is focused on the long haul and his campaign says it’s investments in early voting states as well as it’s data and digital operation will make the governor among the most competitive in the primary and into the general election.

The campaign has nearly 40 paid staffers spread out between the four early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. With today’s news comes word that the operation in New Hampshire will receive additional focus and voters in all four states will see more of the candidate.

At least one Republican challenger took the opportunity to promote their own campaign. Ohio Governor John Kasich's senior aide tweeted:

Bush has focused much of the fall on policy rollouts and the campaign says it will work to better emphasize a message based on the governor’s experience and ability to fix problems. That strategy will also include a focus on national security and reforming Washington.

News of the campaign restructuring comes just as the Super PAC backing Bush’s White House bid debuted a new advertisement to run in Iowa and New Hampshire that touts Bush’s time as governor.