It looks as though nobody is yelling "Jeb!" but the Jeb Bush campaign's own logo. The three latest Republican primary polls have Jeb down to between 5 and 7 percent of the vote. The once frontrunner is now solidly behind not just populist "outsiders" Donald Trump and Ben Carson, but behind Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and depending on the poll, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul.
So now it's time for the "course correction" narrative. The campaign is cutting back staff and spending in Florida and trying to focus on field operations in early primary states. Bloomberg Politics has the scoop:
The campaign is parting ways with some consultants and downsizing its staff at their Miami headquarters in moves that will 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.
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.
A little further:
One Bush adviser told Bloomberg Politics in an interview Friday morning that the team was "unapologetic" about the changes, saying the moves were from a "position of strength." "This is about winning the race," the adviser said. "We're doing it now and making the shifts with confidence. We expect to win."
Bush plans to continue to focus on a core message that argues that he has experience to make the kinds of fundamental changes voters want to see in Washington. The campaign changes reflect that, an adviser said.
Bush: candidate for change! That's an awkward rallying cry when you're also spending time defending your former president brother from criticism.