If JEB! has told us anything about what the economy would look like under a third Bush presidency, it is that he will grow the economy 4% every year and that he will "let the big dog eat."
While we haven't a clue about what the latter means, the former idea is a pretty concrete promise, and fitting for a candidate that presents himself as the wonky Bush. JEB! loves to talk minutiae and he has been telling everyone who will listen that a vote for him is a vote for prosperity. That message has also been used to attract Wall Street's financial support in what seems like a burgeoning money race against Marco Rubio.
Simply put, JEB! wants you to know that JEB! knows how to handle money. Which makes this report from Bloomberg more than a little awkward...
Jeb Bush, once a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, is implementing an across-the-board pay cut for his struggling campaign as he attempts to regain traction just 100 days before the party’s first nominating contest.
The campaign is removing some senior staff from the payroll, parting ways with some consultants, and downsizing its Miami headquarters to save more than $1 million per month and cut payroll by 40 percent this week, according to Bush campaign officials who requested anonymity to speak about internal changes. Senior leadership positions remain unchanged.
Are we talking like a little belt-tightening going into the primaries, or are we talking real trouble here?
The campaign is also cutting back 45 percent of its budget, except for dollars earmarked for TV advertising and spending for voter contacts, such as phone calls and mailers. Some senior-level staff and consultants will continue to work with the campaign on a volunteer basis, while other junior-level consultants, primarily in finance but including other areas, will be let go, the officials said. The officials declined to say who would be removed from the payroll or provide an exact dollar figure for the savings.
So there's definitely a "Starbucks?! What are we, Rockefellers?"-kinda vibe around JEB! HQ these days.
This kind of seemingly desperate and reactionary cost-cutting is not the kind of thing that instills confidence in finance guys looking to write a check and provokes a second look at Rubio, who has about the same amount of money in the bank and - at least so far - has yet to disclose any major cutbacks to staff and spending.
JEB!'s campaign is saying all the right things to Bloomberg, but it's hard not to imagine President Trump gleefully reading about JEB!'s money troubles and thinking "I haven't screwed anyone this badly since the 80's!"