Speed Reads

2016 Watch

Rick Perry has reportedly stopped paying all his campaign staff — but his super PAC is stepping in

Rick Perry is finding it hard to make a good second impression on Republican voters and donors. The former Texas governor hasn't just stopped paying his presidential campaign staff in South Carolina, as National Journal reported Monday evening — he has stopped paying all staff, including at his campaign headquarters in Austin, CBS News and The Washington Post report, citing unidentified Republicans "familiar with the Perry campaign."

Perry, a fundraising powerhouse in the 2008 GOP primary, raised a relatively paltry $1.1 million in the most recent quarter — Jeb Bush raised $120 million in the same period, and Sen. Ted Cruz hauled in $52.5 million. The super PAC supporting Perry, Opportunity and Freedom, has fared better, raising almost $17 million by mid-July, and though it can't legally coordinate with the Perry campaign, it plans to fill in the gaps of Perry's now largely volunteer organization.

Perry campaign spokesman Jeff Miller says the candidate "remains committed to competing in the early states and will continue to have a strong presence in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina," and Austin Barbour, a senior adviser to the super PAC, says his group will try to build a ground organization for Perry in those states. "The super PAC is not going to let Rick Perry down," Barbour told The Post. The newspaper notes that eventual 2008 GOP nominee Sen. John McCain was in a similarly perilous financial situation at the same point in 2007.