At a campaign stop in Derry, N.H., Texas Gov. Rick Perry denied reports of a staff shake-up that would push aside campaign manager Rob Johnson and chief strategist Dave Carney.
“News to me,” Perry said of about a possible change in leadership for the campaign.
Perry said he’d spoken both of the men within the last 24 hours and campaign dynamics seemed unchanged.
“I would suggest to you that’s just scuttlebutt,” he said, calling the phrase a “highly technical Aggie term for ‘not correct.’”
But he confirmed senior advisor Joe Allbaugh has been taking on a greater role in his campaign, calling him the “make-the-trains-run-on-time guy.” And asked if Allbaugh is now assuming some jobs that had previously been performed by Johnson or Carney, Perry did not answer clearly.
“That’s not in my purview,” he said. “I go out and try to be the best candidate I can be.”
“I’m happy, working hard, getting good response across the country, so I think everything’s going along just fine,” he said.
Politico reported Tuesday that sources had indicated that Allbaugh was being elevated to campaign manager, Tony Fabrizio would become Perry’s chief strategist and Carney would limit his involvement to New Hampshire. Perry spokesman Mike Miner denied that report. “Nothing has changed,” he said.
But a Perry strategist, who asked not to be identified in order to speak freely about internal campaign matters, confirmed change was afoot.
“We're not big on titles... Bottom line: Allbaugh is running the show, Carney is in New Hampshire and Johnson is still a key member of the team." The source added that Tony Fabrizio has "stepped up" as strategist, that Allbaugh was asked by Perry to manage day-to-day operations and that Carney is "to focus on New Hampshire."