After String Of Losses, Sanders Campaign To Lay Off 'Hundreds' Of Staffers The campaign says it no longer needs so many staff for the remaining contests left on the calendar, but the move could be a sign of trouble.
NPR logo

After String Of Losses, Sanders Campaign To Lay Off 'Hundreds' Of Staffers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/475933321/475985552" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
After String Of Losses, Sanders Campaign To Lay Off 'Hundreds' Of Staffers

After String Of Losses, Sanders Campaign To Lay Off 'Hundreds' Of Staffers

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/475933321/475985552" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Now to the Democratic race, where there are signs the Bernie Sanders' campaign is winding down. Hundreds of staff are being laid off after he lost four out of five primary states on Tuesday night. Those losses all but ended his chance to become the Democratic nominee for president. NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The Sanders' campaign is downplaying the significance of the layoffs, saying that with 80 percent of primary contests complete, this is a natural restructuring. Still, the numbers are striking. A campaign finance filing at the end of March listed nearly 900 people on the payroll. Now the campaign is talking about a staff of more than 300 who will help Sanders compete in California and other states. Sanders' campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement the move was about marshaling resources. Corey Ealons was a spokesman for President Obama's campaign in 2008 and isn't working for either candidate this time around.

COREY EALONS: It's not unusual for campaigns during this time of the primary process to begin laying people off so they can save those resources and bring those folks back in the fall campaign. The thing you have to look at with the Sanders' campaign is not just the fact that these folks are leaving but also the statement that the campaign made on election night this week.

KEITH: In that statement, Sanders didn't talk about winning the nomination and emphasized winning delegates to have a progressive influence on the Democratic Party platform. Combine that with the layoffs, and Ealons says...

EALONS: It feels and sounds like Bernie Sanders and his team is beginning to turn the page and to wind this thing down.

KEITH: A Sanders' campaign official says supporters are still sending in the small-dollar donations that have fueled the campaign. And there was an overflow crowd for Sanders' rally last night in Bloomington, Ind. Tamara Keith, NPR News.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.