- (Reuters/Scott Audette)
Rep. Michele Bachmann’s New Hampshire campaign staff has resigned en masse, wrote Jeff Chidester, Bachmann’s former state campaign director, who confirmed the news in an email and voice mail to National Journal and CBS. On Friday, The Christian Post and other news sources reported Rep. Bachmann denying the resignations as a “rumor,” when she appeared on an Iowa radio show.
Chidester indicated he had left the campaign last week and informed people close to Bachmann. “I’m sorry the national team is confused. They shouldn’t be,” the former staffer wrote in an email to CBS. “That information was conveyed to the people that are closest to Michele. If that information was not shared, that is unfortunate.”
The four staff members, led by Chidester, have all resigned. Caroline Gilger, who was Bachmann’s southern state field director, has now taken a position with Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign. Others who left are Nicole Yurek and Tom Lukacz. The status of one additional staffer, Matt LeDuc has not been confirmed. ABC is reporting that the staff has not been paid for over a month.
Chidester, who is a talk-radio host in New Hampshire, said in the same email to CBS that the staff would be issuing a joint statement.
“We are more than a team, we have all bonded over the past few months. This is one of the finest groups of people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Each one of them is smart, dedicated, and committed to each other. We have not had an opportunity to talk to each other since the story broke, but once we do, we will release a joint statement.”
As the news of the resignations began to leak on Friday, Bachmann took to the airwaves to deny the reports as “false.”
“This is a shocking story to me, I don’t know where that came from,” Bachmann said to an Iowa radio station. “We have called staff in New Hampshire to find out where that came from and the staff have said that isn’t true, so I don’t know if this is just a bad story that’s being fed by a different candidate or campaign. I have no idea where this came from, but we’ve made calls and it’s certainly not true.”
The apparent disconnect in the campaign may highlight why Bachmann is having trouble staying afloat in a race dominated by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and political newcomer Herman Cain. After winning the Iowa straw poll in early August, Bachmann struggled after Perry announced his entry into the race and has lagged in the polls ever since.
The New Hampshire staff appeared frustrated since Bachmann was devoting so much attention to her birth-state of Iowa and knowing that Romney most likely had the upper hand in the Granite state.
In an average of New Hampshire polling data in the Republican presidential primary, Romney has a commanding lead with 40 percent while Bachmann’s numbers are averaging just under four percent.