Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) tried to tamp down on speculation that his decision to make Republican operative Danny Diaz campaign manager instead of adviser David Kochel was a sign of disarray in his soon-to-be announced presidential campaign.
Earlier in the week The Wall Street Journal reported that Diaz, a former adviser to Mitt Romney, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), and now-former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), would be Bush’s campaign manager, contradicting an earlier report which said Kochel would take the role.
Bush said that he decided to split the duties that previously would have gone to Kochel as campaign manager.
“It’s a pretty overwhelming challenge, and so I decided to kind of split up the duties,” Bush told reporters during a stop in Berlin, Germany, according to Buzzfeed. “David has got great success in these early states, particularly Iowa. He also has got a great strategic mind. And Danny’s a grinder.”
Kochel, Bush said, will be in charge of leading the campaign through early primary states. Bush has trailed a number of candidates in early polling of the GOP primary in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. When news broke that Kochel was in line to be campaign manager, the move seemed to be a signal that Bush hoped to use Kochel’s background as a top Romney adviser in Iowa to his advantage. Bush, according to Politico, said that Kochel’s new portfolio focusing on early primary states are “where his skill sets are.”
“You have a real focus on four states in February, then you have an avalanche of states after that; and you think about how to organize all of that, how to develop the messaging part of this, the scheduling part of it —it’s a pretty overhwelming challenge,” Bush said.
Bush also shrugged off early polling.
“Polls are, you know, it’s fun to see them when you’re winning, not so fun when you’re not,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter, though, it’s June, for crying out loud, so we’ve got a long way to go.”