January 23, 2008 in Nation/World

Some top Huckabee advisers now working without pay

Ron Word Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee speaks during a press conference in Atlanta on Tuesday. Associated Press
(Full-size photo)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Republican Mike Huckabee said Tuesday his presidential campaign is facing financial difficulties with top advisers working without pay and some aides quitting.

The former Arkansas governor promised to remain in the race through next Tuesday’s Florida primary, telling about 50 people, mostly University of Florida fraternity members: “We are taking a look at everything daily. But we will be here every day in Florida until next week.”

Huckabee planned to attend a private fundraiser.

In an interview earlier Tuesday in Atlanta, adviser Ed Rollins said top advisers are working without pay and some have left.

“Most people are staying on,” but a few have departed, Rollins said. “A number of people, including myself,” have agreed to forgo their pay to spend as much as possible on television ads in vital states.

Campaign contributions continue to come in, he said. But he acknowledged that Huckabee is stretched thin as he tries to compete in Florida’s primary and many of the two dozen states holding contests Feb. 5.

Huckabee’s campaign has stopped arranging charter flights, hotel reservations and other means of helping journalists keep up with his movements. News organizations pay their own expenses, but empty seats on charter planes were costing the campaign money.

“We are running our campaign in a very frugal manner,” Huckabee said. “We have operated in the black. If we don’t have it, we don’t expend it.”

Rollins said the campaign plans to run some ads on cable stations in Florida, but it cannot afford broadcast rates. Huckabee is splitting time between Florida, Georgia and Arkansas this week.

One of Huckabee’s rivals, Rudy Giuliani, has acknowledged that about a dozen of his senior campaign workers were forgoing their January paychecks in hopes of stretching out money.

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