Reports say that Rick Perry is running low on funds. But does it mean that he’s finished in his bid for the Republican nomination?
Former Texas governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign is no longer paying its staff because fundraising has dried up, while his cash-flush allied super PAC is preparing to expand its political operation to compensate for the campaign’s shortcomings, campaign and super PAC officials and other Republicans familiar with the operation said late Monday.
On Monday afternoon, The National Journal first reported that Perry’s South Carolina staff were no longer being paid and Monday evening CBS News said that all of his staff had been converted to volunteer status.
Perry has struggled to pull out of the bottom ranks of the 17-person GOP field and his dust-up with Trump over Texas’ handling of illegal immigration did him no favors.
The former governor of Texas did not make it on to the main stage for last week’s Fox News/Facebook debate. His performance in the earlier “happy hour” candidate forum was lackluster – especially when compared to that of Carly Fiorina.
In an NBC post debate poll, Perry’s numbers saw absolutely no movement leaving him with only 2% support from those polled.
Perry has the failure of his last run haunting him as well. The infamous “oops” moment basically ended his last run and is stuck firmly in the memories of prospective donors.
So how will Perry stay in the race? A super PAC.
PACs belonging to the Opportunity and Freedom super PAC said that they will step in with financial assistance as they expect Perry to do well in upcoming debates.
Austin Barbour, senior adviser to the super PAC, said the group would step up “to aggressively support the governor in a number of different ways.”
“We’ve got plenty of money,” Austin Barbour, senior adviser to the super PAC said. “That’s what I know. And we’re going to put that money to use in Iowa to make sure the governor is in the top three there. The super PAC is not going to let Rick Perry down.”
PACS and official campaigns are not legally allowed to coordinate, so exactly how Barbour plans to support Perry over the next few months is left to be seen.
Perry’s campaign has said that it is committed to being in the race for at least the first three early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. If the former governor fails to perform in those caucus/primary events, it will be very difficult for the campaign to continue.