BERLIN — In his first comments since Monday’s shakeup, Jeb Bush told reporters here he felt the need to reorganize his team based on “the magnitude of the journey,” not any perceived struggles of his nascent campaign.
Bush, who spoke to reporters outside his hotel here Wednesday morning, said he named Danny Diaz his campaign manager — moments after reminding the assembled press “we don’t have a campaign” — instead of David Kochel “based on the skills of people I’ve gotten to know.”
Kochel, an Iowa strategist hired in December when his former boss, Mitt Romney, was still considering a run, was thought to be the likely campaign manager; but Bush’s struggles out of the gate led to a sense among top advisers and donors that the campaign needed a more aggressive, media-focused operative in charge.
Bush described Diaz, 39, as “a grinder.”
“I’ve gotten to know Danny Diaz over the last few months as he was part of the Right to Rise team and he is, I think, going to be a really good campaign manager,” Bush said, referring to the name of his PAC and super PAC.
Kochel, meanwhile, will be tasked with guiding Bush through the gauntlet of early states, “which is where his skill sets are,” Bush said. “He’s got a great strategic mind.
“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 overwhelming challenge.”
Polls show Bush trailing a number of other GOP candidates in Iowa, which he’s visited just twice so far this year.