Ben Carson downplayed reports of plans to reorganize his apparently troubled presidential campaign—just hours after suggesting that a major shake-up was coming.
Carson told CNN Wednesday night that reports of personnel changes and confusion in his camp were overhyped.
But earlier that day, in a Washington Post interview, the GOP presidential candidate blamed his falling poll numbers on his campaign advisers, calling some of his senior staffers overpaid and ineffective.
“I’m looking at every aspect of the campaign right now. Everything is on the table, every job is on the table. And we’re going to analyze it very carefully,” he told the Washington Post.
Carson made similar statements to the Associated Press about imminent “personnel changes.” AP said that it conducted the interview without his campaign manager’s knowledge.
After the stories broke, Carson issued a statement saying that he has 100 percent confidence in his team. The retired neurosurgeon criticized the Washington Post for what he called “sensationalism” but didn’t deny that changes could be coming.
There are reports that suggest budgetary mismanagement in the Carson camp. The Wall Street Journal obtained internal campaign-budget documents that revealed “a political operation hemorrhaging cash.” Carson raised $8.8 million in October and spent $9.5 million, the report says.
This apparent overspending—months before primary voting begins—has triggered public criticism from some of Carson’s major donors, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Behind the scenes, there’s also a feud between Carson’s personal adviser, Armstrong Williams, and his senior staffers.
Williams, a close friend who has no official campaign position, has publicly criticized Carson’s staff. Williams complains that they sometimes allow the candidate to embarrass himself when speaking on issues about which he lacks knowledge. This is particularly true in foreign policy, as the New York Times reported.
“His campaign has to do a better job at preparing him,” Williams told CNN.