24 Oct 2015 at 10:21 ET
Jeb Bush speaks to Fox News (screen grab)
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Faced with a bitter onslaught from rival Donald Trump and a precipitous drop in the polls, Jeb Bush announced campaign staffing cuts on Friday as he headed to Texas to meet with donors and score some quick cash to keep his presidential hopes alive.
In an interview with televangelist Pat Robertson — captured by Right Wing Watch, — Bush was asked about the drastic cuts being made to his campaign, including laying off staffers and cutting spending 45 percent.
“Does this mean lean and mean for the future or is your campaign in trouble?” Robertson asked.
“This means lean and mean and that I have the ability to to adapt,” Bush explained before adding that “circumstances” have changed since he began his campaign –meaning the entrance of Trump into the field.
“God bless him for his success, but we’ll see how long that lasts,” Bush continued.
Bush, who at one time was expected to waltz into the nomination, has dropped to fifth place at 7.2 percent in the latest Real Clear Politics polling averages, trailing Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and only slightly ahead of former HP executive Carly Fiorina. In July, Bush led all candidates including Trump and surging retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Trump who sits atop the leader-board has spent the last two weeks baiting Bush, forcing him to defend his brother George W. Bush over his inaction prior to 9/11 terrorist attacks which, in turn, led to a disastrous interview with CNN ‘s Jake Tapper.
Appearing in Miami on Friday, Trump mocked the former governor of Florida, saying he was beating him handily in his own state where Bush not only trails Trump, but also Carson and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
Saturday Bush headed back to Houston to meet with his father and his brother — both former presidents — as well as other family members to plot strategy and raise money while he attempts to stop his campaign from bleeding out of both cash and time to catch the front-runners.