Rep. Michele Bachmann’s campaign is pushing back on a swirl of reports that her paid staff in New Hampshire has quit.
Bachmann’s campaign manager, Keith Nahigian, issued this statement late Friday afternoon.
“We have a great team in New Hampshire and we have not been notified that anyone is leaving the campaign. We look forward to spending more time in the Granite State between now and the primary, but our campaign has emphasized that our main focus is the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa and we are continuing to build efforts there. While she will campaign in other states, Michele will spend the majority of her time in Iowa, doing what she does better than all the other candidates – retail politics – leading up to the all important caucuses.”
Meanwhile, Bachmann told Radio Iowa Friday that “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 have made calls and it is certainly not true”
Yet Jeff Chidester, Bachmann’s New Hampshire campaign manager, told the New York Times that he is leaving.
Other staffers include Nicole Yurek, Mattheu LeDuc, Caroline Gigler, and Tom Lukacz, according to initial report from New Hampshire television station WMUR, which can be found here with a subscription. MPR has not been able to independently confirm their departures.
WMUR reported that the staff quit “over deep frustration with the campaign’s lack of commitment to New Hampshire.”
Bachmann has been spending much of her time and resources in Iowa, a state that will hold the nation’s first caucuses. Bachmann says the state is a must-win. Her platform is especially attractive to Iowa’s GOP voters there who tend to be socially conservative.
Meanwhile, she’s be spending little time in New Hampshire. Recent surveys in New Hampshire have her polling in the single digits, far behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is leading the pack there.
Other recent polls show that Bachmann is doing slightly better in Iowa.